Studies on the Structure and Behavior of Thin Evaporated Films of Silver, Aluminum, Silicon, and Germanium,
ARMY ENGINEER RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LABS FORT BELVOIR VA
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Thin films, produced by evaporation in high vacuum, are applied today in many scientific and technical fields. For those who work with the optical, electrical, and chemical qualities of such films, an exact investigation of their microstructure is important. It was the purpose of the following investigations to determine the structure and behavior of silver, aluminum, silicon, and germanium films produced under different conditions. Films of various thicknesses were condensed on collodion or aluminum oxide support layers at different temperatures and studied by electron diffraction and electron microscopy. The aluminum oxide support layers, which are structureless up to about 700 C., and hence, are quite suitable for investigations at higher temperatures, were prepared by anodizing aluminum in an ammonium tartrate bath. The thickness of the support layers is only 200 A angstrom units. The results obtained from investigations of the structure of the evaporated films contribute to the explanation of certain of their properties. The oxidation of aluminum and silicon in air at different temperatures was investigated by means of electron diffraction, and by optical and electrical methods.
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