Room-temperature oxidation of ultrathin TiB2 films


Titanium diboride has been claimed as a very promising candidate material for protective applications in the magnetic recording. Its oxidation resistance at room temperature is a critical criterion in assessing this application potential. In this paper, the oxidation characteristics of ultrathin TiB2 thin films, such as overcoat erosion and oxide thickness, are investigated via a combination of x-ray reflectivity, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and atomic force microscopy. It was found that a <2-h exposure to air at room temperature led to the formation of approximately 15-Å-thick, well-defined oxides at the expense of an approximately 9-Å erosion of the TiB2 overcoats, coupled with the existence of a sharp oxide/TiB2 interface. XPS studies confirmed the existence of the oxides. Considering the decreasing allowable thickness for such protective overcoats, oxidation and the resultant thickness gain negate such a potential of ultrathin TiB2 films. The results in our current report provide a new perspective on its potential as protective overcoats in magnetic recording.

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Correspondence to Feng Huang.

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Huang, F., Liu, W.J., Sullivan, J.F. et al. Room-temperature oxidation of ultrathin TiB2 films. Journal of Materials Research 17, 805–813 (2002).

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