Abstract

Optical properties, stoichiometry, chemical bonding states, and crystal structure of aluminum oxynitride (AlOxNy) thin films prepared by reactive ion assisted deposition were investigated. The results show that by controlling the amount of reactive gases the refractive index of aluminum oxynitride films at 550 nm is able to be varied from 1.65 to 1.83 with a very small extinction coefficient. Variations of optical constants and chemical bonding states of aluminum oxynitride films are related to the stoichiometry. From an x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis it is observed that our aluminum oxynitride film is not simply a mixture of aluminum oxide and aluminum nitride but a continuously variable compound. The aluminum oxynitride films are amorphous from an x-ray diffraction analysis. A rugate filter using a step index profile of aluminum oxynitride films was fabricated by nitrogen ion beam bombardment of a growing Al film with backfill oxygen pressure as the sole variation. This filter shows a high resistivity to atmospheric moisture adsorption, suggesting that the packing density of aluminum oxynitride films is close to unity and the energetic ion bombardment densifies the film as well as forming the compound.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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