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Grain Growth in Polycrystalline Thin Films

  • Carl V. Thompson (a1)
Abstract

The performance and reliability of polycrystalline films are strongly affected by the average grain size and the distribution of grain sizes and orientations. These are often controlled through grain growth phenomena which occur during film formation and during subsequent processing. Abnormal rather than normal grain growth is most common in thin films, and leads to an evolution in the distribution of grain orientations as well as grain sizes, often leading to uniform or restricted crystallographic orientations or textures. Surface and interface energy minimization and strain energy minimization can lead to development of different textures, depending on which is dominant. The final texture resulting from grain growth depends on the film thickness, the deposition temperature, the grain growth temperature, the thermal expansion coefficients of the film and substrate, and the mechanical properties of the film, as well as other factors.

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