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Title: Measurement and modeling of short and medium range order in amorphous Ta 2O 5 thin films

Here, amorphous films and coatings are rapidly growing in importance. Yet, there is a dearth of high-quality structural data on sub-micron films. Not understanding how these materials assemble at atomic scale limits fundamental insights needed to improve their performance. Here, we use grazing-incidence x-ray total scattering measurements to examine the atomic structure of the top 50–100 nm of Ta 2O 5 films; mirror coatings that show high promise to significantly improve the sensitivity of the next generation of gravitational-wave detectors. Our measurements show noticeable changes well into medium range, not only between crystalline and amorphous, but also between as-deposited, annealed and doped amorphous films. It is a further challenge to quickly translate the structural information into insights into mechanisms of packing and disorder. Here, we illustrate a modeling approach that allows translation of observed structural features to a physically intuitive packing of a primary structural unit based on a kinked Ta-O-Ta backbone. Our modeling illustrates how Ta-O-Ta units link to form longer 1D chains and even 2D ribbons, and how doping and annealing influences formation of 2D order. We also find that all the amorphousTa 2O 5 films studied in here are not just poorly crystalline but appear to lackmore » true 3D order.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
  2. Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; metamaterials; structural properties
OSTI Identifier:
1326209