Time resolved optical reflectivity (TRR) and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS) and ion channelling methods have been applied to determine the crystallization kinetics of Fe-doped A1203 in the temperature range of 900-1050°C. Amorphous A1203 films, approximately 250 nm thick and with Fe cation concentrations of 0, 1.85, 2.2 and 4.5%, were formed by e-beam deposition on single crystal,  oriented, A1203 substrates. Annealing was performed under an oxygen ambient in a conventional tube furnace, and the optical changes which accompany crystallization were monitored, in situ, by TRR with a 633nm wavelength laser.
Crystallization is observed to proceed via solid phase epitaxy. An intermediate, epitaxial phase of -γ-Al203 is formed before the samples reach the ultimate annealing temperature. The 5% Fe-doped film transforms from γ to α-A1203 at a rate approximately 10 times that of the pure A1203 film and the 1.85% and 2.2% Fe-doped films transform at rates between these two extremes. The Fe-dopants occupy substitional lattice sites in the epilayer. Each of the four sets of specimens displays an activation energy in the range 5.0±0.2eV for the γ,α phase transition.