Ferroelectric polycrystalline thin films are being pursued as materials for use in the next generation of radiation hardened nonvolatile semiconductor memories, optical switches and optical computers. Of particular interest are PZT films with a composition near the morphotropic phase boundary. In order to fully understand the the difference in electrical properties as a function of processing parameters it is necessary to fully characterize phase composition and crystallographic properties of these films. Since some films are produced by either spinning or dipping successive layers to obtain the desired thickness it was necessary to compare the properties of each layer.
X-ray diffraction techniques employing parallel beam optics with grazing incidence angle geometry were used to characterize the films. Experimental procedures using sealed tube xray diffraction systems to determine differences in crystallite size and microstrain as a function of depth into the films are a rather unique application of this technique. Discerning the contribution to line broadening due to phase changes, grazing incident angle geometry, crystallite size and microstrain are key to the success of this technique.
This paper discusses the experimental techniques employed and will demonstrate how we were able to successfully determine microstrain as a function of depth into the film. We use transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to aid in the characterization of the films. A brief description of the processing procedures used to produce the films is also provided.