Aluminum oxide free-standing thin films to enable nitrogen edge soft x-ray scattering
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1557/mrc.2018.195
Resonant soft X-ray scattering (RSoXS) leverages chemical specificity to characterize thin films but is limited near the nitrogen edge. The challenge is that commercially available X-ray transparent substrates are composed of Si 3 N 4 and thereby absorb incident X-rays and generate incoherent fluorescence. To overcome this challenge, we designed and fabricated Al 2 O 3 free-standing films for use as RSoXS windows. Al 2 O 3 films offer higher X-ray transmittance and minimal fluorescence near the nitrogen edge. As an example, Al 2 O 3 windows allow for nitrogen RSoXS of conjugated block copolymer thin films that reveal domain spacings, which are not apparent with commercially available Si 3 N 4 substrates.