Morphological features in aluminum nitride epilayers prepared by magnetron sputtering

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Abstract

The aim of this study is to characterize the surface topography of aluminum nitride (AlN) epilayers prepared by magnetron sputtering using the surface statistical parameters, according to ISO 25178-2:2012. To understand the effect of temperature on the epilayer structure, the surface topography was investigated through atomic force microscopy (AFM). AFM data and analysis of surface statistical parameters indicated the dependence of morphology of the epilayers on their growth conditions. The surface statistical parameters provide important information about surface texture and are useful for manufacturers in developing AlN thin films with improved surface characteristics. These results are also important for understanding the nanoscale phenomena at the contacts between rough surfaces, such as the area of contact, the interfacial separation, and the adhesive and frictional properties.

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