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Deposition and characterization of α-Fe2O3/Pd thin films for neutron reflectometry studies

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology A
Publication Date
Page Numbers
053202 to 053202

We report deposition of hematite/Pd thin films on silicon wafers via radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering and subsequent characterization for future in situ neutron reflectometry studies. Following deposition, the hematite/Pd thin films were characterized as prepared and after annealing in air for 2h at 400, 500, and 600 °C, respectively. Raman spectroscopy, grazing incidence x-ray diffraction, and neutron reflectometry (NR) were used to characterize the structure and chemical compositions of the thin films. The results indicate that pure α-Fe2O3 (hematite) films were produced, free from other iron oxide phases and impurities. NR data reveal that one intermediate layer between the Pd layer and the hematite layer was formed during sputtering deposition processes. The fitted scattering length density (SLD) of the as-deposited hematite layer is 70% of the theoretical SLD value, indicating that the grains are loosely packed in the RF-deposited hematite films. After annealing at elevated temperatures, the hematite films show increased SLD values but remain comparable to that of preannealed.