Plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition for plasmonic TiN

Lauren M. Otto, Aaron T. Hammack, Shaul Aloni, D. Frank Ogletree, Deirdre L. Olynick, Scott Dhuey, Bethanie J.H. Stadler, Adam M. Schwartzberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


This work presents the low temperature plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) of TiN, a promising plasmonic synthetic metal. The plasmonics community has immediate needs for alternatives to traditional plasmonic materials (e.g. Ag and Au), which lack chemical, thermal, and mechanical stability. Plasmonic alloys and synthetic metals have significantly improved stability, but their growth can require high-temperatures (>400 °C), and it is difficult to control the thickness and directionality of the resulting film, especially on technologically important substrates. Such issues prevent the application of alternative plasmonic materials for both fundamental studies and large-scale industrial applications. Alternatively, PE-ALD allows for conformal deposition on a variety of substrates with consistent material properties. This conformal coating will allow the creation of exotic three-dimensional structures, and low-temperature deposition techniques will provide unrestricted usage across a variety of platforms. The characterization of this new plasmonic material was performed with in-situ spectroscopic ellipsometry as well as Auger electron spectroscopy for analysis of TiN film sensitivity to oxide cross-contamination. Plasmonic TiN films were fabricated, and a chlorine plasma etch was found to pattern two dimensional gratings as a test structure. Optical measurements of 900 nm period gratings showed reasonable agreement with theoretical modeling of the fabricated structures, indicating that ellipsometry models of the TiN were indeed accurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanophotonic Materials XIII
EditorsGilles Lerondel, Taleb Mokari, Adam M. Schwartzberg, Stefano Cabrini
ISBN (Electronic)9781510602298
StatePublished - 2016
EventNanophotonic Materials XIII - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 30 2016Aug 31 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceNanophotonic Materials XIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All work was performed at the Molecular Foundry and was supported by the Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05CH11231. L. M. O. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under grant no. 00039202.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2016 SPIE.


  • TiN
  • plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition
  • plasmonics
  • synthetic metal
  • titanium nitride


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