PHT.304UF Thin Film Science and TechnologyThin films are generally used to improve the surface properties of solids, e.g. they can change the transmission, reflection, hardness, abrasion resistance and many more properties of a bulk material. Coating the top surface of materials with a thin film allows to modify the interaction of the material with the environment without changing the bulk properties of the material itself, and thus increases the number of properties that a material can have. Several modern devices are based on thin film active layers.
In this course, we will explore some fundamentals on how a thin film grows on a surface, starting from the nucleation process to the multilayer formation. Then, some of the classical and more modern growth techniques of thin films will be presented (e.g. evaporation, sputtering, epitaxy, chemical vapor deposition, atomic layer deposition). The second part of the course will be devoted to the description of some post-deposition processes that are relevant for thin films, i.e. interdiffusion and transformations. We will talk about the most common characterization methods that can be used in-situ and ex-situ for the analysis of thin films and we will conclude with the presentation of etching processes for the formation of nanostructures.