Structural characterization of boron nitride films

T. M. Duncan, R. A. Levy, P. K. Gallagher, M. W. Walsh

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The microstructure of amorphous hydrogenated boron nitride films, with nominal composition B3N:H, is characterized with respect to hydrogen bonding and distribution by combined application of nuclear-magnetic-resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, electron-spin-resonance spectroscopy, and evolved gas analysis. Previous infrared studies on annealed films suggest that hydrogen is present in multiple configurations; qualitatively, low-temperature anneals (∼600 °C) deplete N-H moieties whereas B-H configurations are depleted at higher temperatures (∼1050 °C). Gas analysis corroborates these results, showing H2 peaks at ∼570 and ∼950 °C. From an analysis of nuclear dipolar couplings extracted from the 1H NMR spectra, it is concluded that the hydrogen is essentially randomly distributed as monohydrides; other configurations, such as dihydrides and monohydride clusters, are estimated to be less than 20% total. Furthermore, the 1H NMR spectra show no evidence of molecular H2 trapped in the films. In a film exposed to a high x-ray dose (∼30 kJ cm -3), it was determined that the damage was equivalent to 1 unpaired electron spin per 175 B3N:H units. The 1H NMR linewidth did not change after irradiation, which suggests that the hydrogen spatial distribution was unaffected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2990-2994
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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