Simultaneous analysis of film thickness, density and surface roughness

The molecular arrangement and packing density of molecules in a thin film differs from the bulk sample. As a consequence, film thickness differs from from expectations based on the properties of the bulk. The density, thickness and surface roughness of a thin film sample can be measured non-destructively and simultaneously using the total X-ray reflection technique. If the sample surface is flat (a requirement for reflectivity), the absolute film thickness can be measured, even on metal thin films, which cannot be evaluated using an ellipsometer. The figure below, collected using Rigaku's SmartLab multipurpose diffractometer, shows the result of the reflectivity measurement performed on a film of silicon nitride film (Si3N4). Based on profile fitting analysis, the film thickness is 99.8 nm, the film density is 2.88 g/cm3 and the surface roughness: 0.65 nm.


reflectivity measurement performed on a film of silicon nitride film


The SmartLab is the most novel high-resolution diffractometer available today. Perhaps its most novel feature is the SmartLab Guidance software, which provides the user with an intelligent interface that guides you through the intricacies of each experiment. It is like having an expert standing by your side. Read more about SmartLab...

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