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A Study of the Surface Texture of Polycrystalline Phosphor Films Using Atomic Force Microscopy

  • R. Revay (a1), J. Schneir (a2), D. Brower (a1), J. Villarrubia (a2), J. Fu (a2), J. Cline (a3), T. J. Hsieh (a1) and W. Wong-Ng (a3)...

Stimulable phosphor thin films are being investigated for use as optical data storage media. We have successfully applied atomic force microscopy (AFM) to the measurement of the surface texture of these films. Determination of the surface texture of the films is important for evaluating the effect of surface quality on optical scatter. In other thin film material systems it has been found that the surface “bumps” revealed by AFM correspond to grains in the film. This is not the case for the stimulable phosphor films used in our study. We have determined the grain size of our phosphor films by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). The grain size from TEM and XRD does not correlate with the size of the AFM surface “bumps.” For example, in two of the five films studied, the XRD derived grain size varies by a factor of two but the size of the surface “bumps” remains the same. We conclude that the texture of the film surface is not directly determined by the grain size of the phosphor material.

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1 Hegde, R.I., Chonko, M.A., and Tobin, P.J. in Evolution of Surface and Thin Film Microstructure, edited by Atwater, H.A., Chason, E, Grabow, M.H., and Lagally, M.G. (Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 280, Pittsburgh, PA, 1993) pp. 103–108.
2 Files-Sesler, L.A., Hogan, T., and Taguchi, T., J. Vac. Sci. Tecnol. A10(4), 28752879 (1992).
3 Digital Instruments Corporation Nanoscope II fitted with a stand-alone head.
4 Certain commercial equipment is identified in this report in order to describe the experimental procedure adequately. Such identification does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST, nor does it imply that the equipment identified is necessarily the best available for the purpose.
5 Gallarda, H. and Jain, R., in Integrated Circuit Metrology, Inspection, and Process Control V (SPIE Proceedings 1464, Bellingham, WA 1991) pp.459473; G.S. Pingali and R. Jain, in Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on Applications of Computer Vision, (Los Alamitos, CA, 1992) pp. 282–289; D.J. Keller and F.S. Franke, Surf. Sci. 294, 409 (1993).
6 “SHADOW”, Materials Data, Incorporated, P.O.Box 791, Livermore, CA94551
7 Williamson, G.K. and Hall, W.H., Advances in X-ray Analysis, 23 (Plenum Press, New York, 1953) pp. 7381
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