The development of new functional thin films and the fabrication of functional devices using these materials are the outgrowth of emerging demands for high efficiency, energy-saving, lightweight devices to further the pursuit of comfort and convenience in daily life. The “Smartphone” is a typical example, where numerous functional thin film based devices are employed, such as, display screens, backlighting, batteries, data storage devices, etc. Characterization of functional thin films is necessary in terms of not only the phase identification of composing materials but also further crystallographic characterization of constituent crystals, such as their textures or orientation relationships with substrates, lattice distortions, film thicknesses etc., since these physical parameters are closely correlated with the devices’ performance.
A 2-dimensional (2D) detector enables various kinds of XRD measurements to be performed in a remarkably short time, covering a wide range of reciprocal space and thus, enables us to perform certain measurements with laboratory equipment that have previously been performed only at synchrotron facilities. Recently, the hybrid pixel array 2-dimensional detector (HPAD) has come into use for measurements with in-house XRD systems. The Rigaku SmartLab™ X-ray diffractometer can also be equipped with the latest HPAD, the “HyPix-3000”.(2) This detector is equipped with direct X-ray detection pixel array sensors, which enable capabilities such as high sensitivity, wide-dynamic range, and high spatial resolution.
Examples of X-ray analysis of modern functional thin film materials using 2D detectors are presented in this short series of articles. The article, Part 1 is focused on examples of polycrystalline thin films specimens, where how to effectively collect weak signals from thin films is crucial for the analysis. The forthcoming Part 2 article will be dedicated to cases featuring the analysis of epitaxial thin films with complex domain structures.