Temperature-dependent optical properties of titanium nitride
The refractory metal titanium nitride is promising for high-temperature nanophotonic and plasmonic applications, but its optical properties have not been studied at temperatures exceeding 400 °C. Here, we perform in-situ high-temperature ellipsometry to quantify the permittivity of TiN films from room temperature to 1258 °C. We find that the material becomes more absorptive at higher temperatures but maintains its metallic character throughout visible and near infrared frequencies. X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and mass spectrometry confirm that TiN retains its bulk crystal quality and that thermal cycling increases the surface roughness, reduces the lattice constant, and reduces the carbon and oxygen contaminant concentrations. The changes in the optical properties of the material are highly reproducible upon repeated heating and cooling, and the room-temperature properties are fully recoverable after cooling. Using the measured high-temperature permittivity, we compute the emissivity, surface plasmon polariton propagation length, and two localized surface plasmon resonance figures of merit as functions of temperature. Our results indicate that titanium nitride is a viable plasmonic material throughout the full temperature range explored.