Measuring crystallographic texture in thin films

Mark D. Vaudin

Preferred crystallographic orientation (texture) in thin films of technologically important materials frequently has a strong effect on the properties of these films. For example, the remanent polarization in ferroelectric films such as PbZrxTi1-xO3 (PZT) is texture-dependent, so the ability to switch domains in a PZT non-volatile memory device (NVRAM) is strongly influenced by the texture. One objective of this project is to provide U.S. industry with fast, quantitative x-ray diffraction tools for measuring crystalline texture in thin films. We have developed techniques that use conventional powder diffractometers to measure texture in thin film and bulk materials. A conventional theta-2theta scan of a Bragg peak from the textured planes is recorded, and also an omega-scan (rocking curve) at the Bragg peak scattering angle. The raw omega-scan data are corrected for defocus using the Bragg peak theta-2theta scan to obtain accurate texture profiles and full-width-at-half-maximum values. These corrections can be substantial, as shown in the figure.

Bragg peak width

PZT (100) texture profile

Texture measurements have been performed on (Ba,Sr)TiO3 and PZT films, and on electrodeposited advanced metallization Cu films.

  • Accurate Texture Measurements on Thin Films Using a Powder X-Ray Diffractometer

    The relative abundance of (100) and (111) grains in PZT films with bimodal texture distributions has been measured.

  • Measuring Bimodal Crystallographic Texture in Ferroelectric PbZrxTi1-xO3 Thin Films

    Texture in tape cast alumina containing c-axis template grains has been studied with the rocking curve and other techniques.

  • A Comparison of Texture Analysis Techniques for Highly Oriented alpha-Al2O3
  • Software is available to calculate texture profiles from raw x-ray data.

    Conferences and Workshops

    A workshop on "Texture in Electronic Applications" was held at NIST on October 10 and 11, 2000. The workshop featured invited and contributed talks and posters, and a round table discussion was held during the final afternoon. The report is published in the NIST Journal of Research, "Conference Report: Workshop on Texture in Electronic Applications", M. Vaudin and D. Kaiser, J. Res. Nat. Inst. Stand. Technol., Vol. 106, pp. 605-608 , 2001.

    To follow up on the workshop, there will be a Symposium (J) on Texture and Microstructure in Electronic and Magnetic Films at the Spring MRS meeting in San Franciso, April 1 to 5, 2002.

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    Date created: 08 February 2001
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