Slow and swift heavy ions irradiation of zirconium nitride (ZrN) and the migration behaviour of implanted Eu

T. F. Mokgadi, M. J. Madito, M. Mlambo, V. A. Skuratov, S. V. Motloung, T. T. Hlatshwayo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Zirconium nitrate (ZrN) layers of about 20 µm were deposited onto silicon (Si) substrates at room temperature (RT) using a vacuum arc deposition technique. Some of the as-deposited samples were irradiated with Eu (360 keV) to a fluence of 1.0 × 1016 cm−2 at RT. Others were irradiated with 167 MeV Xe ions to the fluence of 6.7 × 1014 cm−2 at RT. Both Eu and Xe irradiated samples were annealed at 800 and 900 °C for 5 h. The as-deposited samples were characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy while irradiated and annealed samples were characterised by Raman spectroscopy and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS). XRD results showed (1 1 1), (2 0 0), (3 1 1) and (2 2 2) planes of ZrN confirming the polycrystalline nature as-deposited layers Raman results of as-deposited ZrN showed all vibration modes indicating ZrN with defects. Irradiation with slow ions resulted in the accumulation of defects in the irradiated samples. Fewer defects were observed in the swift heavy ions irradiated samples. Thermal annealing at 800 and 900 °C resulted in different stoichiometric structures of ZrN with broken octahedral symmetry. No migration of implanted Eu was observed after annealing at these temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
Number of pages7
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2019


  • Irradiation
  • RBS
  • Raman
  • SHI
  • ZrN


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