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The dependence of stoichiometry, grain size, and surface morphology of yttrium oxide films, deposited by a Cu-vapor laser at room temperature, as a function of oxygen ambient pressure during synthesis were investigated. Auger electron spectroscopy showed that films with a O/Y ratio close to stoichiometry were obtained at oxygen pressures ≫3×10-1 Torr. X-ray diffraction revealed that pulsed laser deposited yttrium oxide films were composed mainly of nanocrystals, the average grain size of which grew from about 9.3 to 22.1 nm as the oxygen pressure was increased from 1.5×10-2 to 5 Torr. The surface morphology of the films, as determined by secondary electron microscopy, also exhibited increasing roughness as the grain size increased. Films deposited in an oxygen background pressure up to 1.5×10-2 Torr were oxygen deficient but exhibited good adhesion to substrates, while those deposited at higher oxygen background were powdery. © 1999 American Vacuum Society.
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