In situ X-ray characterization of piezoelectric ceramic thin films

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bulletin c o v e r s t o r y (Credit: Agresta; ANL.) allow researchers to study the structure and functional prop- There has been rapid development in the X-ray nanodiffraction instruments, such as this one at the Advanced Photon Source of Argonne National Laboratory, erties of thin-film materials, including ceramics and the inte- precision with which ferroelectric mate- grated circuit shown here, with spatial resolutions of tens to rial can be grown epitaxially on single-crystal hundreds of nanometers. substrates and in the range of physical phe- nomena exhibited by these materials. These developments have been chronicled regularly In situ X-ray ceramics, and they find applications in elec- - Ferroelectric thin-film materi1,2.Bulletinin theals belong to the broad category of electronic characterization ing from tunable radio-frequency capacitors-tronic and electromechanical devices rang to ultrasound transducers. The importance of of piezoelectric tion of materials synthesis processes, leading-these materials has motivated a new genera ceramic thin films with impressive control over the composi-to the creation of thin films and superlattices tion, symmetry, and resulting functionality. In By Paul G. Evans and Rebecca J. Sichel-Tissot turn, improved processing has led to smaller devices, with sizes far less than 1 micrometer, Advances in X-ray scattering characterization technology faster operating frequencies, and improved now allow piezoelectric thin-film materials to be studied in performance and new capabilities for devices. new and promising regimes of thinner layers, higher electric Important work continues to build on these advances to create materials that are lead-free fields, shorter times, and greater crystallographic complexity. and that incorporate other fundamental sources of new functionality, including magnetic order. 18 www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1


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