Preparation and characterization of high-surface-area aluminum nitride thin films

S. A. Monie, C. G. Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

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Free-standing aluminum nitride (AlN) films were prepared by ammonia heat-treatment of pseudoboehmite [AlO(OH)] gels derived from an alumina sol. Supported films on sapphire substrates were also made by spin-coating the alumina sol, followed by ammonia nitridation. The conversion of the specimens to AlN as a function of heat-treatment temperature was studied using various characterization techniques. For the free-standing films, X-ray diffraction (XRD) showed that upon ammonia treatment, the specimens were first transformed from pseudoboehmite to η-alumina and finally to AlN above 1000 °C. 27Al magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) spectroscopy confirmed the appearance of Al[N]4 coordination at 1000 °C, indicative of AlN. Complete conversion to AlN was achieved after 5 hour nitridation at 1200 °C. The 1200 °C heat-treated films consisted of crystallites of AlN in the size range 0.01-0.15 μm, with pores between 0.03-0.25 μm in diameter, as observed by TEM/electron diffraction analyses. These films had BET surface areas of approximately 25 m2/g. Nitridation of the supported films to AlN occurred at lower temperatures (approximately 900 °C), as shown by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 1997
EventProceedings of the 1996 MRS Fall Symposium - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Dec 2 1996Dec 5 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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