X-ray scattering is routinely used to determine the crystal structure, orientation, lattice parameters and crystal quality in crystalline materials (X-ray diffraction) and thickness, density or roughness of thin films and multilayers (X-ray reflectivity).

The equipment configuration is optimized for high-resolution X-ray diffraction (HR-XRD) and reflectivity (XRR) studies in nanostructured thin films and superlattices. For this purpose it includes incident and diffracted-beam monochromators, collimators, attenuators and eulerian sample holder. It also allows the local mapping of flat samples through motorized lateral displacements.

XRD at LMA uses a D8 Advance diffractometer provided by Bruker Española S.A. This instrument has several modes, including:

  • High resolution diffraction in epitaxial films and multilayers
  • Reciprocal space maps
  • Wafer mapping
  • X-ray reflectivity
  • Structural characterization of single-crystal or strongly textured thin films
  • Grazing incidence diffraction (GID)

The XRD equipment is mainly used by researchers growing epitaxial thin films in the following applications and research lines:

  • Epitaxially strained thin films.
  • Magnetic thin films and nanostructres for applications in Spintronics.
  • Multiferroic films and multilayers.
  • Thin films showing thermoelectric effects (such as spin Seebeck).

What can be done with it?

XRD and XRR provide the following information in thin films:

  • Chemical composition.
  • Crystal structure.
  • Lattice parameters.
  • Substrate and film orientation.
  • Miscut angle in single-crystal substrates.
  • Crystalline quality and texture.
  • Roughness.
  • Density.
  • Thickness.
  • Defects, dislocations.
  • Stress.

Sample requirements:

Although this facility is very versatile and the analysis of powder samples is feasible, the current configuration is optimized for the study of thin films.

Technical specifications:

  • X-ray generator with copper anode.
  • (022) Ge monochromator (Cu Ka1 line).
  • Parallel-beam optics (Göbel mirror).
  • Eulerian cradle and XYZ translation stage.
  • Zeta and Xi tilt stage for grazing incidence X-ray diffraction.
  • Suction device for securing flat samples.
  • Soller slits.
  • X-ray beam intensity attenuator.
  • Automatic alignment control by microscope and laser beam.
  • Scintillation counter.
  • Analysis software and databases.