Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms

RBS as a tool for topographic modelling of polycrystalline thin film interactions

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Thermal interdiffusion between polycrystalline metal films may involve a variety of concurrent processes, such as grain boundary or pipe penetration, solution of one metal in the other, grain growth and aggregation, and interface roughening. A detailed analysis of a series of RBS profile shapes obtained as such interactions proceed can provide information about the individual constituent processes and their kinetics. Examples are shown for the interactions of Ta-NiFe, Ta-Ni, Ta-Fe, Au-Ni and Ag-NiFe, in which extended time-temperature annealing matrices have allowed us to obtain new information, in particular on the role of grain boundary diffusion at relatively low temperatures, and the microscopic thermal stability of these interfaces. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.