Growth Process, Structure and Electronic Properties of Cr2GeC and Cr2-xMnxGeC Thin Films Prepared by Magnetron Sputtering

Tarasov, A.S., Lyaschenko, S.A., Rautskii, M.V., (...), Ovchinnikov, S.G., Varnakov, S.N.// Processes//

The growth and phase formation features, along with the influence of structure and morphology on the electronic, optical, and transport properties of Cr2GeC and Cr2-xMnxGeC MAX phase thin films synthesized by magnetron sputtering technique, were studied. It was found that the Cr:Ge:C atomic ratios most likely play the main role in the formation of a thin film of the MAX phase. A slight excess of carbon and manganese doping significantly improved the phase composition of the films. Cr2GeC films with a thicknesses exceeding 40 nm consisted of crystallites with well-developed facets, exhibiting metallic optical and transport properties. The hopping conduction observed in the Cr2-xMnxGeC film could be attributed to the columnar form of crystallites. Calculations based on a two-band model indicated high carrier concentrations NP and mobility μ in the best-synthesized Cr2GeC film, suggesting transport properties close to single crystal material. The findings of this study can be utilized to enhance the growth technology of MAX phase thin films.