ELECTRON BOMBARDMENT OF CERTAIN THIN FILMS DURING DEPOSITION (ANTIMONY TRIOXIDE, SILICON MONOXIDE, ZINC SULFIDE, POTASSIUM HEXAFLUOROZIRCONATE).
AuthorBROWNING, STEPHEN DOUGLAS.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe performance of multilayer thin film optical filters depends largely on the microstructure of the component layers. This microstructure varies with the deposition parameters inside the coating chamber. By controlling these parameters, optical filters can be produced to exacting specifications. In 1947, R. M. Rice established the technique of bombarding the substrate with electrons of several kilovolts as the fils were being deposited. This process improved the durability of zinc sulfide films dramatically. This study was performed to quantitatively analyze the effects of bombardment on film microstructure and subsequent effects on optical and mechanical properties. I installed an electron source filament inside the coating chamber and electrically isolated the substrate holder, which was connected to a positive high voltage supply. An accelerating loop placed just above the filament enhanced its efficiency. The source was calibrated by measuring the current through the substrate holder. Single layer films of five different materials were deposited, each at its own set of electron bombardment parameters. The microstructure was analyzed with an X-ray diffractometer and a transmission electron microscope. Optical properties were measured with guided waves, induced absorption, and spectrophotometric analysis. Film durability was analyzed with scotch tape, eraser, and controlled humidity tests. Antimony trioxide films showed a shift in lattice orientation, but this did not affect columnar structure or macroscopic quantities. Potassium hexafluorozirconate films showed elimination of both crystal structure and columnar growth, resulting in slightly reduced durability and some absorption. Silicon monoxide films suffered no change in structure or properties. Zinc sulfide films demonstrated the change in crystal structure, which was quantified and shown to improve moisture resistance. Optical properties were unaffected. Magnesium fluoride films showed a slight increase in crystallinity with only subtle changes in durability and optical properties. Generally, electron bombardment reduced or rearranged crystal structure. The effects on macroscopic properties varied with each material, with no clear trend evident.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences