Applied Surface Science, Vol.255, No.16, 7126-7135, 2009
Microstructural, optical and spectroscopic studies of laser ablated nanostructured tantalum oxide thin films
Thin films of tantalum oxide (Ta2O5) have been prepared by pulsed laser deposition technique at different substrate temperatures (300-973 K) under vacuum and under oxygen background (pO(2) = 2 x 10 (3) mbar) conditions. The films are annealed at a temperature of 1173 K. The as-deposited films are amorphous irrespective of the substrate temperature. XRD patterns show that on annealing, the films get crystallized in orthorhombic phase of tantalum pentoxide (beta-Ta2O5). The annealed films deposited at substrate temperatures 300 K and 673 K have a preferred orientation along (0 0 1) plane, whereas the films deposited at substrate temperatures above 673 K show a preferred orientation along (2 0 0) crystal plane. The deposited films are characterized using techniques such as grazing incidence Xray diffraction (GIXRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), micro-Raman spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and UV-visible spectroscopy. FTIR and micro-Raman measurements confirm the presence of Ta-O, Ta-O-Ta and O-Ta-O bands in the films. Grain size calculations from Xray diffraction and AFM show a decrease with increase in substrate temperature. The variation of transmittance and band gap with film growth parameters are also discussed. (C) 2009 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.