Influence of nanocrystal growth kinetics on interface roughness in nickel–aluminum multilayers

Aurongzeb, D.; Holtz, M.; Daugherty, M.; Berg, J.M.; Chandolu, A.; Yun, J.; Temkin, H.
December 2003
Applied Physics Letters;12/29/2003, Vol. 83 Issue 26, p5437
Academic Journal
We study the layer morphology of Ni/Al multilayer structures, with 50 nm period, as deposited and following 10 min anneals up through the melting temperature of Al. X-ray reflectivity measurement of the as-deposited film shows interference fringes, characteristic of a well-defined multilayer stack, with ∼1 nm interface roughness. Over a narrow anneal range of 360–500 °C these fringes diminish in amplitude and disappear, indicating elevated interface roughening. However, fringes are observed for anneal temperatures both below and above this range, indicating the presence of well-defined layers with smooth interfaces. A model, in which nanocrystal domains of intermetallic nickel aluminides form at the interfaces, is developed to quantify the annealing induced interface roughness. This model agrees well with the experimental results. © 2003 American Institute of Physics.


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