X-ray and light scattering from nanostructured thin films
The object of this thesis is the study of nanostructured thin films using inelastic fight scattering and elastic x-ray scattering techniques. Their use in combination with other techniques is a powerful tool for the investigation of nanostructured materials. X-ray, Raman and Brillouin characterisation of cluster-assembled carbon films, promising for applications in the field of catalysis, hydrogen storage and field emission, is here presented. X-ray reflectivity (XRR) provided a measure of the density. Raman spectroscopy showed that the local bonding in these amorphous films depends on the size distribution of the clusters and that it is possible to select the cluster size in order to grow films with tailored properties. Brillouin scattering provided a characterisation at the mesoscopic scale and an estimate of the elastic constants, revealing a very soft material. XRR was employed to study density, layering and roughness of a wide range of amorphous carbon films grown with different techniques. Some films possess an internal layering due to plasma instabilities in the deposition apparatus. By comparing XRR with Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy, a unique value for the electron "effective mass" was deduced and a general relationship between sp(^3)-content and density was found. XRR and H effusion were used to determine the hydrogen content. A study of the size-dependent melting temperature in tin nanoparticle thin films was undertaken with a combined use of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and light scattering. A redshift in the position of a Rayleigh peak in the temperature-dependent Brillouin measurements was shown to be related to the melting of the nanoparticles and explained by an effective medium model. XRD also provided information on the low-level of stress in the particles. Low-frequency Raman scattering was used to study the behaviour of the acoustic modes of a single particle as a function of temperature.