Thin Film Analysis (TFA) - Thin film characterization

Thin Film Analysis - Measuring samples from Nanometer (nm) up to Micrometer (µm) scale

Physical properties from thin-films are becoming more and more important in industries such as, phase-change optical disk media, thermoelectric materials, light emitting diodes (LEDs), phase change memories, flat panel displays, and the semiconductor industry. All these industries deposit a film on a substrate in order to give a device a particular function. Since the physical properties of these films differ from bulk material, these data are required for many different applications.

The thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity of thin film materials is usually smaller than that of their bulk counterparts, sometimes dramatically so. For example, at room temperature, lambda of a 20 nm Si film can be a factor of five smaller than its bulk single-crystalline counterpart, and lambda along the plane of a single layer of encapsulated graphene is at least 10 times smaller than the corresponding value for bulk graphite. Such thermal conductivity reductions generally occur for two basic reasons. First, compared to bulk single crystals, many thin film synthesis technologies result in more impurities, disorder, and grain boundaries, all of which tend to reduce the thermal conductivity. Second, even an atomically perfect thin film is expected to have reduced thermal conductivity due to boundary scattering, phonon leakage, and related interactions. Both basic mechanisms generally affect in-plane and crossplane transport differently, so that the thermal conductivity of thin films is usually anisotropic, even for materials whose bulk forms have an isotropic lambda.

Linseis offers a broad range of instruments in order to characterize thin film physical properties.

1. Thin Film LaserFlash Analysis (Time domain thermo-reflectance or Thin film laserflash method)

Based on the well established Laser Flash technique, the LINSEIS “Thin-Film- Laserflash” now offers a whole range of new possibilities to analyze thermophysical properties of thin films from 80nm up to 20μm thickness.

 2. Thin Film Analyzer (TFA)

The Linseis TFA is a chip based system which offers the possibility to measure the thermal conductivity, specific heat, electrical conductivity, Seebeck Coefficient and Hall Coefficient of a sample nearly simultaneous within one measurement run in order to avoids measurement errors and offers a great compareablility of the measured values. Depending on the material, films from nm to µm range can be measured.

3. LSR-3

The Linseis LSR-3 can be equipped with a thin film adapter to measure the Seebeck Coefficient and electrical conductivity of thin films.

 4. Hall characterization 

The L79/HCS System permits the characterization of semiconducting thin films, it measures: mobility, resistivity, charge carrier concentration and Hall coefficient.