TEM lamella images of samples: a 54V and b 216S show the nanoparticulate nature of TaNS and the amorphous nature of Si. The observed Pt layer was deposited during lamella fabrication. SEM top-view images of samples: c 54V and d 216S, and the corresponding cross-section images: e 54V (inset is magnified) and f 216S. 54V corresponds to the vaulted structure, where column tops contact one another, while in 216S structure columns already merge into a continuous film with Volmer–Weber growth, as the domed morphology suggests (sedimentary structure). The substrate used for the preparation of samples for this structural characterisation is Si(111).