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Isostructural stability of B1-NaCl type SiN on (001) and (111) oriented ZrN surfaces is studied theoretically and experimentally. The ZrN/SiN/ZrN superlattices with modulation wavelength of 3.76 nm (d∼0.4 nm) were grown by dc-magnetron sputtering on MgO(001) and MgO(111). The results indicate that 0.4 nm thin SiN layers utterly influence the preferred orientation of epitaxial growth: on MgO(001) cube-on-cube epitaxy of ZrN/SiN superlattices were realized whereas multilayers on MgO(111) surface exhibited an unexpected 002 texture with a complex fourfold 90°-rotated in-plane preferred orientation. Density functional theory calculations confirm stability of a (001) interface with respect to a (111) which explains the anomaly.


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