Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. In this work, the production of RuN thin films using the reactive direct current magnetron sputtering technique is presented. Samples were grown with varying Ar/N2ratio with values of 60/40, 80/20, 85/15, 90/10, 95/5, and 100/0. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy was employed to determine the presence of RuN before and after a sputtering etching process. According to the high-resolution of N1s spectra, 3 peaks were identified at 397.4 ± 0.3 eV, 398.3 ± 0.3 eV, and 398.8 ± 0.3 eV binding energies, corresponding to hybridizations of nitrogen with transition metals, oxynitrides, and oxycarbides. X-ray diffraction analyses were performed, showing the coexistence of the RuN face-centered cubic and Ru hexagonal compact packed phases. After the etching process, the samples grown at nitrogen flow rates greater than 15% continued to show the RuN face-centered cubic phase. Atomic force microscope analyses showed that as the nitrogen concentration increased, the grain size and roughness also tended to increase.