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Superconducting niobium titanium nitride thin films deposited by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition

Yemane, Y. T., Sowa, M. J.,  Zhang, J., Ju, L., Deguns, E. W., Strandwitz, N. C., Prinz, F. B., Provine, J., "Superconducting niobium titanium nitride thin films deposited by plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition," SUPERCONDUCTOR SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, Vol. 30, Issue 9, Article Number 095010,  SEP 2017 

NbTiN has a variety of superconducting applications, ranging from RF cavities to single-photon detectors. Here, we systematically investigated the plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD) of Nbx Ti${}_{1-x}{\rm{N}}$ with the organometallic precursors (t-butylimido) tris(diethyamido) niobium(V) and tetrakis (dimethylamido) titanium in conjunction with a remote H2/N2 plasma. Deposited film properties have been studied as a function of the ratio of Nb to Ti precursor pulses within each ALD supercycle. PEALD NbTiN films were characterized with spectroscopic ellipsometry (thickness, optical properties), four point probe (resistivity), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (composition), x-ray reflectivity (density and thickness), x-ray diffraction (crystallinity), and superconductivity measurements. The PEALD process has shown distinct advantages over deposition of superconducting films via thermal ALD or sputtering, for example a lower processing temperature and more efficient control of film composition. This control of film composition enabled the tuning of electrical and superconducting properties, such as varying the superconducting critical temperature T C between 6.9 and 13.2 K.