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We examined crystalline-texture evolution during ion-beam-assisted deposition (IBAD) of MgO thin films. We have demonstrated for the first time that in-plane crystalline texturing in IBAD of MgO scales with deposition rate. At high ion currents an in-plane texture full width at half-maximum (FWHM) of 10° can be achieved in less than 1 s, and 6° in 2.2 s. MgO texture further improves with thickness of a homoepitaxial layer deposited on top. We have developed an empirical quantification of the texture evolution in both IBAD and homoepitaxial layers. The best texture attained thus far in the MgO layer on polished Hastelloy tape has an in-plane FWHM of 1.6°. The high deposition rates demonstrated here make high-throughput manufacturing of IBAD textured templates a practical and cost-effective concept.
We examine the influence of various substrate preparation procedures for ion-beam assist deposition (IBAD) texturing of MgO. IBAD-MgO nano-texturing is very sensitive to the nucleation surface, and surface roughness has an important influence on the texture of the MgO layer. We studied Hastelloy C-276 metal alloy as the substrate. The untreated substrate is leveled by either electropolishing, mechanical polishing or solution deposition. All three methods are applied to continuously moving tapes in long lengths. The RMS surface roughness decreases from 20-50 nm for the untreated substrate to 0.5 nm, 0.3 nm and 1 nm respectively. The in-plane and out-of plane crystalline alignment of the MgO layer improves as the roughness is decreased below 2 nm.
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