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Near-ultraviolet absorption and nanosecond-pulse-laser damage in HfO2 monolayers studied by submicrometer-resolution photothermal heterodyne imaging and atomic force microscopy

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6 Author(s)
Papernov, S. ; Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester, 250 East River Road, Rochester, New York 14623-1299, USA ; Tait, A. ; Bittle, W. ; Schmid, A.W.
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Localized absorption in hafnium dioxide used as a high-index component in multilayer coatings for near-ultraviolet, nanosecond-pulse-laser applications is directly linked to laser-induced damage. The nature of the absorbing species and their physical properties remains unknown because of their extremely small sizes. Previous experimental evidence provided by the atomic force microscopy mapping of damage morphology points to a few-nanometer scale of these absorbers. This work demonstrates the submicrometer-resolution mapping of 355-nm absorption in HfO2 monolayers using a recently developed photothermal heterodyne imaging technique. The comparison of absorption maps with the atomic force microscopy investigation of pulsed-laser-induced damage morphology allows one to better estimate the spatial distribution of nanoscale absorbing defects in hafnia thin films. Possible defect-formation mechanisms are discussed.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:109 ,  Issue: 11 )