Metal oxides interaction with Si-containing substrates for pellicle application

Posted 2 months ago


This assignment provides a possibility to experimentally study the thermodynamics-induced changes in ultra-thin layer using advances X-ray analysis. This assignment will help you to develop the experience with thin-film growth, advanced approached to characterization of thin films and thermodynamics.


During recent studies of Y oxide resistance to hydrogen radicals at 700°C is was found that Y oxide deposited by magnetron sputtering reacts with the SiO2 substrate forming an intermediate layer. Moreover, it was shown that during thermal annealing at 900 °C this intermixing continues and results in the formation of complex element distribution. From the first estimation, this intermixing makes Y oxide undesirable material for pellicle applications.

The goal of the project is to study the interaction of Y oxide (and, possibly, other similar d-metal oxides, like Sc oxide) with Si-containing substrates (different SiO2 and Si structures, and silicides) determine the structure of the interface and film. The analysis of interfaces in such thin films requires accurate and advanced utilization of nano-metrology. This analysis will be carried out using developed at XUV the free-form X-ray reflectivity analysis and supported by X-ray photo-electron spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and other available techniques. After that, the first conclusions can be drawn about the potential of this material as a cap layer for the pellicle. Further on oxide films with different thicknesses will be exposed to atomic hydrogen to check if the stability of the layer depends on its thickness. In the case of very thin films that are strongly preferred for pellicle cap the stability of the material might be lower due to the presence of Si atoms on the surface.

Requirements to the candidate:

This assignment can be tailored for MSc programs of UT or Saxion with various ratios between physics and engineering focuses of research. For any questions please contact dr. Roman Pushkarev (, or contact prof.dr.Marcelo Ackermann.

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Job Features

Job CategoryFinal assignment, Master Assignment