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Real-time monitoring of stress evolution during thin film growth by in situ substrate curvature measurement

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Gilardi Elisa, Fluri Aline, Lippert Thomas, Pergolesi Daniele,
Project The search for low temperature super protonic conductivity
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Applied Physics
Volume (Issue) 125(8)
Page(s) 082513 - 082513
Title of proceedings Journal of Applied Physics
DOI 10.1063/1.5054092


Strain engineering is the art of inducing controlled lattice distortions in a material to modify specific physicochemical properties. Strain engineering is applied for basic fundamental studies of physics and chemistry of solids but also for device fabrication through the development of materials with new functionalities. Thin films are one of the most important tools for strain engineering. Thin films can in fact develop large strain due to the crystalline constrains at the interface with the substrate and/or as the result of specific morphological features that can be selected by an appropriate tuning of the deposition parameters. Within this context, the in situ measurement of the substrate curvature is a powerful diagnostic tool allowing a real time monitoring of the stress state of the growing film. This manuscript reviews a few recent applications of this technique and presents new measurements that point out the great potentials of the substrate curvature measurement in strain engineering. Our study also shows how, due to the high sensitivity of the technique, the correct interpretation of the results can be in certain cases not trivial and require complementary characterizations and an accurate knowledge of the physicochemical properties of the materials under investigation.