The structure and stability of β-Ta thin films

Aiqin Jiang, Trevor A. Tyson, Lisa Axe, Leszek Gladczuk, Marek Sosnowski, Paul Cote

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52 Scopus citations


Ta films with tetragonal crystalline structure (β-phase), deposited by magnetron sputtering on different substrates (steel, silicon, and silicon dioxide), have been studied. In all cases, very highly preferred (001) orientation was observed in X-ray diffraction measurements. All diffraction data revealed two weak reflections corresponding to d-spacing of 0.5272 and 0.1777 nm. The presence of the two peaks, attributed to (001) and (003) reflections, indicates that β-Ta films exhibit a high preference for the space group of P-421m over P42/mnm, previously proposed for β-Ta. Differences in relative intensities of (00l) reflections, calculated for single crystal β-Ta σ-type Frank-Kasper structure and those measured in the films, are attributed to defects in the films. Molecular dynamics simulations performed on tantalum clusters with six different initial configurations using the embedded-atom-method potential revealed the stability of β-Ta, which might explain its growth on many substrates under various deposition conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-173
Number of pages8
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 23 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


  • Clusters
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Space group
  • X-ray diffraction
  • β-tantalum
  • σ-type Frank-Kasper structure


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