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Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy with the synchrotron radiation we investigated Si-based micro-clusters embedded in TaSiN thin films having oxygen contamination. TaSiN thin films were deposited by co-sputtering on fixed or rotated substrates and with various power conditions of TaN and Si targets. Three types of embedded micro-clusters with the chemical states of pure Si, SiO-capped Si, and SiO-capped Si were observed and analyzed using SEM and Si 2 and Ta 4 core-level spectra were derived. Their different resistivities are presumably due to the different chemical states and densities of Si-based micro-clusters.


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