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Aluminum oxide free-standing thin films to enable nitrogen edge soft X-ray scattering

  • Author(s): Ye, D;
  • Rongpipi, S;
  • Litofsky, JH;
  • Lee, Y;
  • Culp, TE;
  • Yoo, SH;
  • Jackson, TN;
  • Wang, C;
  • Gomez, EW;
  • Gomez, ED
  • et al.
Abstract

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.

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