Thin film structural determination and surface analysis
A combined approach to the use of surface analysis techniques and X-ray diffraction has been introduced. In particular the development of the microstructure of UHV evaporated thin metallic films has been investigated with a view to clarifying influences on microstructure (particularly texture). This study has shown the wide range of experimental parameters which affect the final film structure, such as temperature, oblique incidence and substrate roughness. An automated energy dispersive X-ray diffractometer has been developed for the study of thin film texture. The required corrections for loss of intensity due to sample positioning have been developed and verified. Pole figures have been collected for erbium and nickel thin films (thickness 200-1200 nm) grown on molybdenum or glass substrates. Results for the erbium films show a substantial effect on the texture of the film, contributed by the temperature of the substrate during deposition. The texture varies from mixed fiber at low temperature, to a strong single fiber orientation at around 663 K, to mixed fiber at higher temperatures. The strong orientation at 663 K has been shown to vary from either (002) to (101) depending on as yet unknown experimental conditions. The effect of substrate roughness appears to be only in the degree of orientation and it does not affect the overall nature of the texture of the film. The texture of the nickel films shows a form of "granular epitaxy" at substrate temperatures above 300 K. The presence of tensile stress within one of these nickel thin film samples has been determined and is interpreted to give support to a proposed mode of granular epitaxy.