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Congratulations to Nicole Pfiester on Optical Materials Express Publication

Congratulations to Nicole Pfiester on her recent Optical Materials Express publication! Her work on the "Effect of microstructure on the optical properties of sputtered iridium thin films" is discussed. The abstract can be viewed below.


The refractory metal iridium has many applications in high performance optical devices due to its high reflectivity into X-ray frequencies, low oxidation rate, and high melting point. Depositing Ir via magnetron sputtering produces high quality thin films, but the chamber pressure and sputter conditions can change Ir film microstructure on the nanoscale. Film microstructure is commonly examined through microscopy of film cross-sections, which is both a destructive characterization method and time consuming. In this work, we have utilized a non-destructive characterization technique, spectroscopic ellipsometry, to correlate the optical properties of the metal films with their structural morphologies, enabling large-scale inspection of optical components or the ability to customize the metal refractive index for the application at hand. The optical properties of Ir thin films deposited at chamber pressures from 10 mTorr to 25 mTorr are reported and compared to microscopy and resistivity results. The measurements were conducted with films deposited both on a bare wafer and on a titanium sublayer.


The full paper can be viewed here.