Epitaxial nitride thin films and heterostructures are one of the most celebrated class of materials not only due to their utility in fundamental materials science and device physics studies, but also for their numerous industrial applications from hard coating technology to solid-state lighting. Transition metal nitrides such as TiN and others have been utilized for decades in hard coating and tribology applications. The last two decades have also seen the emergence and dominance of GaN for solid-state lighting and power electronic applications. Though TiN, and other wurtzite III-nitride semiconductor such as GaN remain the most important nitride coating materials for a range of applications, several other rocksalt nitride thin film and superlattice heterostructures such as ScN, CrN, and TiN/(Al,Sc)N metal/semiconductor superlattices have attracted significant interests in recent years for applications in thermoelectricity, plasmonics, solar energy conversion, and in high temperature electronic, optoelectronic, and plasmonic devices. In this chapter, we present an up-to-date summary of rocksalt nitride thin film and heterostructure coating materials for their applications in energy transport and conversion research fields. The suitability and usefulness of such nitride coating materials in the most recent scientific and engineering advances related to the energy transport and conversion research fields are highlighted.
Part of the book: Coatings and Thin-Film Technologies