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Proceedings Paper

Thin film morphology in TEM as revealed by heat-shock fracturing and replication of film cross sections
Author(s): Theo Mueller; Hans K. Pulker
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Paper Abstract

Thin films play an important role in electron microscopy as they are used to improve the electron optical contrast and the structural stability of specimens, and to increase the electrical conductivity of specimen surfaces. They are, however, also the object of structural and microstructural investigations. In order to avoid overlapping of specimen and coating structures, it is necessary to understand how thin films are formed in the various coating technologies, and how to create them reproducibly as part of the different EM-preparation techniques. Electron microscopy is applied to learn more about the structural details of thin films used for instance in the optical coating industry. Heat shock fracturing and Pt-C surface replication of the cross-sections resulted in reliable TEM micrographs of the coating microstructure. These studies demonstrate that, under optimal conditions, it is possible to find a correlation between measured film properties and the microstructure of the coatings. TEM replica investigations reveal single events, so they can be useful if discrepancies in the (statistical) physical data have to be investigated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 November 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2253, Optical Interference Coatings, (4 November 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.192136
Show Author Affiliations
Theo Mueller, BAL-TEC AG (Liechtenstein)
Hans K. Pulker, Balzers AG (Liechtenstein)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2253:
Optical Interference Coatings
Florin Abeles, Editor(s)

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