TMA Thin Films: Measuring the Coefficient of Thermal Expansion in Thin Films

Presented by Alex Mann




Thin films are material strips ranging from microns to nanometers in thickness. They are deposited on a bulk material, referred as the substrate, to enhance the substrate’s electrical, optical, mechanical, or chemical properties. Thin film is a rapidly growing field due to its applications in corrosion prevention, electronics, photovoltaics, optics, and biomedics. One major impediment is that thin films often do not have the same properties as bulk materials with the same chemical composition. A thin film’s properties variation results from its small thickness, large surface area-to-volume ratio, and unique physical structure, which stems from the fabrication method.

When designing technology incorporating thin films, it is important to understand how the material will change when heated or cooled. Thermal expansion can cause stress within the film, impacting yield strength and hardness, and the material properties change when a film passes through a transition. The tensile loading attachment for the Rigaku TMA8331 can be used to determine a thin film’s coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and any transition points. This can then be used to determine whether the selected thin film is viable in the desired temperature range.

This webinar will feature an overview of thin film, the importance of understanding their properties when heated or cooled, the Rigaku TMA8331 and the thin film tensile loading attachment, and an analysis of data collected using the apparatus.

This webinar aired on November 9, 2023 @ 2:00PM GMT-4.

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