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Sublimation crystal growth of yttrium nitride

What is yttrium nitride?

Yttrium nitride is a dark gray powder, which is a kind of rare earth nitride. It has a very high melting point and keeps stable under high temperatures. So yttrium nitride can apply to refractory materials like titanium nitride and zirconium nitride. Yttrium nitride, Y5N14, was synthesized by a direct reaction between yttrium and nitrogen at ∼50 GPa and ∼2000 K in a laser-heated diamond anvil cell. High-pressure single-crystal X-ray diffraction revealed that the crystal structure of Y5N14 (space group P4/mbm) contains three distinct types of nitrogen dimers. Crystal chemical analysis and ab initio calculations demonstrated that the dimers [N2]x− are crystallographically and chemically nonequivalent and possess distinct noninteger formal charges (x), making Y5N14 unique among known compounds. Theoretical computations showed that Y5N14 has an anion-driven metallicity, with the filled part of its conduction band formed by nitrogen p-states. The compressibility of Y5N14, determined on decompression down to ∼10 GPa, was uncommonly high for dinitrides containing +3 cations (the bulk modulus K0 = 137(6) GPa).


Sublimation crystal growth of yttrium nitride

he present study employed the sublimation–recondensation growth method to produce YN bulk crystals. This technique is attractive because it produces bulk crystals with much lower dislocation densities than in thin films on foreign substrates. In addition, its growth rate can be orders of magnitude higher than thin film techniques, i.e., greater than ten μm/h. Previously, our group showed ScN and TiN [23] crystals produced by this technique have defect-selective etch-pit densities of 106 cm−2. The YN growth process was analyzed, and the materials produced were thoroughly characterized. The YN crystal morphology was studied by optical and scanning electron microscopy, while its crystal structure and lattice constants were evaluated by X-ray diffraction. The dependence of the YN growth rate on temperature and pressure was established and compared with ScN and TiN sublimation growth under similar conditions. Lastly, the stability of the YN crystals in the air was examined, and the resulting oxidation products were reported. The transition metal nitrides exhibit a wide range of physical (electrical, magnetic, and optical) and chemical properties that are of technological interest and have commercial applications. Examples include TiN and HfN diffusion barriers for integrated circuits; CrN for hard, wear-resistant coatings; ScN for high-temperature Ohmic contacts to IA nitride semiconductors; and VN, which is being investigated as a catalyst. The transition metal nitrides also form alloys, which can be exploited to control their lattice constants and electrical properties, as demonstrated with Ti1−xScxN [6] and Y1−xScxN.


Many researchers are investigating the possibility of yttrium nitride

Researchers are investigating combining transition metal nitrides with IA nitride semiconductors (aluminum nitride, gallium nitride, and indium nitride) as layered structures or alloys to realize new functional properties. The similar lattice constants and the shared common element (N) have inspired efforts to combine layers as epitaxial films. Scandium nitride and zirconium nitride have been employed as buffer layers between silicon substrates and GaN epitaxial films to block the initiation and propagation of defects. Additions of chromium, magnesium, and iron to AlN and GaN have all been studied in attempts to create a ferromagnetic semiconductor. Yttrium nitride is particularly intriguing because it is one of the few transition metal nitrides that is also a semiconductor (as is scandium nitride). Several groups reported the rocksalt crystal structure for YN with lattice constants between 4.8 and 4.9 Å. No other crystal structure has been experimentally reported for YN. However, a recent first principle calculation compared the wurtzite and bcc structures to the rocksalt structure (the latter was the most stable). Although no measurement has been reported, studies predicted an indirect bandgap for YN of 0.8 eV, 0.85 eV, and 0.544 eV. Yttrium nitride is also predicted to exhibit a high Mn solubility, which could impart good magnetic properties while retaining its semiconductor properties. In the past, only a few studies have reported the synthesis of YN. In the 1950s, a group produced YN powder by first converting yttrium metal to YH2 by reacting with hydrogen at 550 °C in a quartz tube, then heating this gas to 900 °C in nitrogen. Later in the 1960s, YN powders were obtained by reacting yttrium metal with nitrogen at 1400 °C and arc-melting under 0.3 MPa nitrogen. Recently, YN thin films were grown on silicon and sapphire substrates by laser ablation deposition and reactive magnetron sputtering. Although the lattice constants reported from these different material preparation methods are very close, there are still variations.


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