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A Three-phase Model for the Structure of Porous Thin Films Determined by X-ray Reflectivity and Small-Angle Neutron Scattering

  • Wen-li Wu (a1), Eric K. Lin (a1), Changming Jin (a2) and Jeffrey T. Wetzel (a2)


A methodology to characterize nanoporous thin films based on a novel combination of high-resolution specular x-ray reflectivity and small-angle neutron scattering has been advanced to accommodate heterogeneities within the material surrounding nanoscale voids. More specifically, the average pore size, pore connectivity, film thickness, wall or matrix density, coefficient of thermal expansion, and moisture uptake of nanoporous thin films with non-homogeneous solid matrices can be measured. The measurements can be performed directly on films up to 1.5 µm thick while supported on silicon substrates. This method has been successfully applied to a wide range of industrially developed materials for use as low-k interlayer dielectrics.



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