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Published December 27, 2001 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

In-situ biaxial texture analysis of MgO films during growth on amorphous substrates by ion-beam-assisted deposition


We used a kinematical electron scattering model to develop a RHEED based method for performing quantitative analysis of mosaic polycrystalline thin film in-plane and out-of-plain grain orientation distributions. RHEED based biaxial texture measurements are compared to x-ray and transmission electron microscopy measurements to establish the validity of the RHEED analysis method. MgO was grown on amorphous Si3N4 by ion beam-assisted deposition (IBAD) using 750 eV Ar+ ions and MgO e-beam evaporation. The ion/MgO flux ratio was varied between 0.66 and 0.42. In situ RHEED analysis reveals that during nucleation the out-of-plane orientation distribution is very broad (almost random), but narrows very quickly once well-oriented grains reach a critical size. Under optimal conditions a competition between selective sputtering and surface roughening yields a minimum out-of-plane texture at about 100 angstrom, which degrades with increasing film thickness. The narrowest in- plane orientation distribution (5.4 degrees FWHM) was found to be at an ion/MgO flux ratio between 0.55 and 0.51, in good agreement with previous experiments. The systematic offsets between RHEED analysis and x-ray measurements of biaxial texture, coupled with evidence that biaxial texture improves with increasing film thickness, indicates that RHEED is a superior technique for probing surface biaxial texture.

Additional Information

© 2001 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). The authors would like to thank J.F. Whitacre for his assistance with synchrotron measurements, as well as Luke Emmert and Phillip C. Yashar for grazing incidence X-ray diffraction measurements of IBAD MgO in-plane orientation distribution. This work was supported by the DARPA VIP III and MURI programs.

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