Epitaxial ScN(001) thin films were grown on MgO(001) substrates by dc reactive magnetron sputtering.The deposition was performed in an Ar/N2 atmosphere at 2 x 10−3 Torr at a substrate temperature of 850 °C in a high vacuum chamber with a base pressure of 10−8 Torr. In spite of oxygen contamination of 1.6 +/- 1 at. %, the electrical resistivity, electron mobility, and carrier concentration obtained from a typical filmgrown under these conditions by room temperature Hall measurements are 0.22 mΩ cm, 106 cm2 V−1 s−1, and 2.5 x 1020 cm−3, respectively. These films exhibit remarkable thermoelectric power factors of 3.3–3.5 × 10−3 W/mK2 in the temperature range of 600 K to 840 K. The cross-plane thermal conductivity is 8.3 W/mK at 800 K yielding an estimated ZT of 0.3. Theoretical modeling of the thermoelectric properties of ScN calculated using a mean-free-path of 23 nm at 300 K is in very good agreement with the experiment. These results also demonstrate that further optimization of the power factor of ScN is possible. First-principles density functional theory combined with the site occupancy disorder technique was used to investigate the effect of oxygen contamination on the electronic structure and thermoelectric properties of ScN. The computational results suggest that oxygen atoms in ScN mix uniformly on the N site forming a homogeneous solid solution alloy. Behaving as an n-type donor, oxygen causes a shift of the Fermi levelin ScN into the conduction band without altering the band structure and the density of states.


Copyright (2013) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in (citation of published article) and may be found at J. Appl. Phys. 113, 153704 (2013). The following article has been submitted to/accepted by Journal of Applied Physics. Copyright (2013) Polina V. Burmistrova, Jesse Maassen, Tela Favaloro, Bivas Saha, Shuaib Salamat, Yee Rui Koh, Mark S. Lundstrom, Ali Shakouri, and Timothy D. Sands. This article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Date of this Version


Published in:

J. Appl. Phys. 113, 153704 (2013)



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.