What is Thin film: Definition and 166 Discussions

A thin film is a layer of material ranging from fractions of a nanometer (monolayer) to several micrometers in thickness. The controlled synthesis of materials as thin films (a process referred to as deposition) is a fundamental step in many applications. A familiar example is the household mirror, which typically has a thin metal coating on the back of a sheet of glass to form a reflective interface. The process of silvering was once commonly used to produce mirrors, while more recently the metal layer is deposited using techniques such as sputtering. Advances in thin film deposition techniques during the 20th century have enabled a wide range of technological breakthroughs in areas such as magnetic recording media, electronic semiconductor devices, Integrated passive devices, LEDs, optical coatings (such as antireflective coatings), hard coatings on cutting tools, and for both energy generation (e.g. thin-film solar cells) and storage (thin-film batteries). It is also being applied to pharmaceuticals, via thin-film drug delivery. A stack of thin films is called a multilayer.
In addition to their applied interest, thin films play an important role in the development and study of materials with new and unique properties. Examples include multiferroic materials, and superlattices that allow the study of quantum phenomena.

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  1. C

    Engineering Thin Film Interfaces Textbook Needed

    Summary: TL;DNR Looking for a recently published comprehensive textbook on thin film interfaces I am in the market for a comprehensive textbook on thin film interfaces that is available for a cheap price. I found Interfaces in Crystalline Materials by A.P. Sutton and R.W. Balluffi but the most...
  2. S

    Solid State Researching Gold Thin Films: Electrical & Optical Properties

    Hi Physics folks,I am currently collecting resources for my senior seminar project at my university and would like to ask if anyone has any good references for gold thin films. I am planning on focusing primarily on the electrical and optical properties of gold thin films. I appreciate any...
  3. L

    A problem involving thin film interference

    I know that every time that light goes from traveling through a medium with lower refractive index to one with a higher refractive index the reflected light undergoes a ##\frac{\lambda}{2}## phase change. Since this happens both at the air-plate and plate-glass interfaces we have that the phase...
  4. A

    Studying Thin-Films: Do I Need Material Science Background?

    Do I need to have a solid background in Material Science if I would like to study thin-films?
  5. R

    Interference in thin films; confusion regarding geometry

    Instead of talking about the simple of case of reflection interference due to a single film, this book starts off with two films with an angled air wedge between them. They talk about the "thickness", ##t##, of the wedge, but this thickness varies along the length of the films (Figure 35.`12)...
  6. Addez123

    Find Wavelength of Light Wave for Optimal Constructive Interference

    The green ray is moved upwards for clarity, they are all on same x-axis with no y component. Theres a phaseshift at both reflections of the green light because n1 and n3 are > n2. This results in a complete wavelength phaseshift, aka no impact on the wave. That means that only the extra travel...
  7. D

    Thin film reflection of light

    Homework Statement: Light with wave length 648 nm in air is incident perpendicularly from air on a film 8.76 micrometers think and with refractive index 1.35. par of the light is reflected from the first surface of the film, and part enters the film and is reflected back at the second surface...
  8. C

    How to know what m value to plug into thin film interference equations

    How do I work out what m value (0, 1/2, 1 etc) to put in the thin film interference equations like 2nt = (m + 1/2)*lambda? Does it depend if it's constructive or destructive? Could someone help explain, thanks!
  9. F

    The maximum intensity for light transmitted through a thin film

    Homework Statement A thin (460 nm) film of kerosene (n=1,20) is spread out on water (n = 1,30). Light hits the (horizontal) surface of the film coming (almost) perpendicularly from above. A diver underwater, below the film. a) Find out the visible wavelength reflected into air that has the...
  10. E

    Interference from a thin film

    Hello, I have a question about interference. I have interference from thin film, i.e. fringes of equal inclination. How I can calculate the radius of sample curvature from the interference pattern? How I can to determine the maximum radius of curvature of the surface at which interference will...
  11. hagopbul

    A Can multiple layers of thin films increase infrared light absorption?

    hello : i have a small question , can we use multi layer thin films to increase absorption of infrared spectrum , on certain surface , ? taking in mind that we use the same kind of thin film for each layer . is that possible ? best hagop
  12. Avocado

    I Fuchs-Sondheimer Resistivity model for Nanowires

    I calculated FS Model using Mathcad and I got that this part increases with decreasing width $\w$. This make the resistivity increases with decreasing width $\w$. This contradict the result of this model. Has anyone ever come across with this before? the original paper...
  13. M

    Material Science & Advanced Thin Film Technologies: Postgraduate Research

    Is it advisable to have a Material Science background if I would like to pursue a postgraduate research studies in advanced thin film technologies?
  14. F

    What is the equation for constructive interference in thin film interference?

    Homework Statement Between two pieces of glass (##n_1=1.70##), there is a thin film of water (##n_2=1.33## and width ##d=1 \mu m##). If there is normal-incidence of white light on the water surface, find: (a) which wavelenghts can be seen in the light transmitted (answer: 667 nm,533 nm,444 nm...
  15. R

    Thin film interference problem

    Homework Statement You are working with the mineral fluorite (CaF2, n=1.43) and have a sample that is coated with a layer of liquid 158 nm thick. For various wavelengths of visible light incident normal to the surface of the liquid, you observe very strong reflection for green light (λ = 510...
  16. A

    Thin film intereference

    Homework Statement [/B] Scientists are testing a transparent material whose index of refraction for visible light varies with wavelength as n = 30.0 nm^(1/2)/λ^(1/2), where λ is in nm. A 310-nm-thick coating is placed on glass (n = 1.50) what visible wavelengths will the reflected light have...
  17. M

    Metal thin film adhesion, Au-Si deposition

    What protocol should I use to get a good stable 100nm Au adhesion onto a Si substrate using electron beam evaporation? I've heard talk of primer layers of either Cr or Ti at around 5nm thickness, as the typical way to do it. Which material should I choose? What the advantages or disadvantages...
  18. A

    Newton's Rings and Thin Film Interference

    Homework Statement A total of 31 bright and 31 dark Newton's rings (not counting the dark spot at the center) are observed when 550-nm light falls normally on a planoconvex lens resting on a flat glass surface. How much thicker is the center than the edges? Homework Equations 2t = mλ 2t =...
  19. T

    Thin film interference on water

    Homework Statement An oil tanker spills a large amount of oil (n =1.47) into the sea (n = 1.33). a) If you look down onto the oil spill from overhead, what predominant wavelength of light do you see at a point where the oil is 390 nm thick? What color is the light? b) In the water transmitted...
  20. T

    Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy Thin Film Thickness

    I had an experiment involving FTIR (incoherent light source) to measure the thickness of plastic film through making use of interference fringes. I don't understand how the interference fringes can occur over a frequency range (in term of wave number ν for FTIR) and also how it can occur at the...
  21. LippyKa16

    Calculating Minimum Thickness of a Thin Film Using Interference Patterns

    Homework Statement A researcher measures the thickness of a layer of benzene (n = 1.50) floating on water by shining monochromatic light onto the film and varying the wavelength of the light. She finds that light of wavelength 565nm is reflected most strongly from the film. What does she...
  22. M

    Thin film interference—find the height of a wedge

    Homework Statement Two rectangular pieces of plane glass 11.0 cm long are laid upon the other on a table. At one end they are in contact, at the other end they are separated by a piece of paper, which forms a thin wedge of air. The plates are illuminated at normal incidence by 510 nm light...
  23. L

    Methods for Damping High Frequencies in FEM Thin Film Model?

    I would like to simulate the vibrations of a thin film polymer in vacuum using nonlinear analysis. For this purpose I am using an FEM program I have written in MATLAB. I do not have any data regarding damping in the structure, so I am estimating the damping using stiffness-proportional-only...
  24. ikihi

    Thin film constructive interference

    Homework Statement Three experiments involving a thin film (in air) sandwiched between two layers of air are shown with nair < nfilm. If t denotes the film thickness and λ denotes the wavelength of the light in the film, which experiments will produce constrictive interference as seen by the...
  25. M

    I Thin film around circle and ignoring curvature

    Hi PF! If we have flow around a curved object that is sufficiently thin, I Have seen many texts assume the surface is linear rather than curved. Can someone help me with what "sufficiently thin" is quantitatively and how this allows us to neglect surface curvature? As a simple toy problem...
  26. F

    Thin film interference - why thin, exactly?

    Hi, in every explanation of thin film interference I came across, little or nothing is said as to why the layer of transparent material creating the effect should be thin. What would go wrong if that is not the case? I'm asking because it seems to me that, in principle, the mathematic...
  27. N

    I Diameter of nanoparticles formed by dewetting of thin film

    Hi, I'm trying to understand the derivation to an equation I found in the following paper: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nn203035x I posted almost this exact question on Physics Stack Exchange but got no replies so I decided to try it here instead, I hope that's ok...
  28. N

    Thermal conductivity of a thin film

    Homework Statement The problem is given. Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution I tried to solve the question as if there is a nanowire between two reservoirs and got an answer. But I don't know what should I do to measure thermal conductivity in a thin film. My formula for k in a...
  29. Cocoleia

    Thin film appears red, thickness of this part?

    Homework Statement A thin film of oil (n=1.5) is floating on top of water. When looking directly at this film, a large portion appears red (700nm). What is the thickness of the red part of the layer? Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution Since n for oil > n for air, there will be a phase...
  30. Cocoleia

    Thin film interference and external / internal reflection

    Homework Statement I am working on a thin film interference problem where i have to find the phase difference. What is the relationship between external/internal reflection and the thin film interferenceHomework Equations for external: [/B] for internal: The Attempt at a Solution So far i...
  31. nso09

    Finding the ratio of thicknesses of films (destructive)

    Homework Statement I need help on figuring out part C which is determining the ratio between ##t_1## and ##t_2## in order to get constructive interference. I'm given the index of refractions ##n_1=1.5## and ##n_2=2## and that I know that wave 1 and 2 have half cycle shift and wave 3 does not...
  32. sounouhid

    Thin film refractive index determination

    Hi every one , I want to find the refractive index of a thin film using it's reflectance and transmittance spectrum is there a way to do that ? thank you for advance
  33. U

    What is the (n,k) value of hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide?

    Hello, I'm working on simulation of hydrogenated amorphous and microcristalline silicon solar cells. The software I use is AMPS 1D So, I need (n,k) of hydrogenated amorphous silicon carbide (a-SiC:H) Thank you
  34. kenok1216

    About thin film (max bright/dark)

    Homework Statement Homework EquationsThe Attempt at a Solution SiO2 as the thin film,when light entry SiO2 and Si then the reflected light has 180 phase change, for dark fringes 2nt=(m+1/2)λ for bright fringes 2nt=mλ for dectect max of bright/dark,-1<=sinx<=1, then no idea to prove father[/B]
  35. vetgirl1990

    How Does Soap Bubble Thickness Affect Light Interference?

    Homework Statement (a) Calculate the minimum thickness of a soap bubble film that results in constructive interference in the reflected light if the film is illuminated with light whose wavelength in free space is λ=600nm. The index of refraction of the soap film is 1.33. (b) What is the film...
  36. R

    Thin Film Interference: Can You Have a Phase Difference>2pi

    If the equation for phase difference, 2(pi)(path difference/wavelength) gave you a value like 12.25pi would that be the phase difference or would it be .25pi?
  37. M

    Exploring the Future of Fuel Cells: A Ph.D Student's Perspective

    Hi My name is Mesut. I am a Physics Ph.D. student at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. I am working on Fuel Cells. Thanks
  38. P

    Thin film physicist unfairly targeted by Justice Dept.

    Not really physics, but I thought this forum would be most interested in this. http://gizmodo.com/charges-dropped-against-temple-university-physicist-acc-1730326640 http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/12/us/politics/us-drops-charges-that-professor-shared-technology-with-china.html
  39. mesa

    Looking for a boron nitride sheet for thin film dep / Fusion

    Hello fellow PFers. Recently we ran our first fusion experiment on campus by utilizing our IBeAM analysis lab with a BN electrical insulator target after installing and calibrating a gamma detector in the vacuum chamber. The Professor funding the experiment needed to see we could achieve a...
  40. Hanyuri

    Questions on Rs measurement by four point probe device

    Hi all, I am working on electronics material (using metal oxide as an active layer in TFTs). Currently, I'm trying to measure the sheet resistance (Rs) of CuO thin film (~100nm in thickness). My lab uses Agilent B1500 device for measuring the Rs. I met some problems when carrying out the...
  41. S

    Switchable Porosity: Can Microporous Materials Be Controlled?

    Is it possible to switch the porosity of any microporous material by external stimuli (eg. optical, pressure or electrical ). I'm trying to imagine something akin to an "Artificial Stomata" where the pore opening & closing Can be externally controlled. I'd be very thankful if someone could...
  42. L

    Measure the out-of-plane k of suspended thin film

    Hi there, Does anyone know if there is any method to measure the out-of-plane thermal conductivity of a suspended thin film? As the conventional way of measuring the out-of-plane thermal conductivity is to deposit the thin film on a thick substrate, but we want it suspended. Thanks in advance.
  43. Ahmed Khodiri

    Thin Film Thickness: Estimating Using Transmittance & Reflectance

    Is there any program can estimate the thickness of thin film using transmittance and reflectance data ?
  44. M

    Thin film interference reflection

    Homework Statement A coating of n1 = 1.27 material is to be added to n2 = 1.50 glass, in order to make it "irridescent." a) What is the thinnest layer of material which will have a reflection maximum for normal-incidence light at BOTH 400 and 600 nm (vacuum) wavelength? b) This thickness will...
  45. W

    Help with two multiple choice questions related to light and interference

    Homework Statement A thin film of glass is in flush contact with a thin film of transparent plastic that has a higher index of refraction than the glass. Monochromatic light of a certain frequency is shown on both sides of this combination, and there is very little light reflected from either...
  46. W

    Thin film / interference question

    Homework Statement Monochromatic laser light is shown through a double-slit apparatus with a slit separation of onto a screen, but no interference pattern is seen because the thin transparent coating (index of refraction n=1.35) on the screen is creating a thin-film destructive interference...
  47. W

    RF Susceptor Heating (KHz range) Graphite Foil vs Iron Foil (or thin film)

    Which do you believe is the best choice for a low temperature RF heating susceptor, i.e. - greatest rise in temperature vs. field strength. I am aware that Graphite (expanded graphite foil) has excellent thermal conductance in plane and therefore makes for very even heating patterns over large...
  48. M

    Thin film interference and anti-reflective coating

    Hi, I actually have two questions that are somewhat related so I am including them in one post. I add much more detail about the system then probably necessary because I'd like to see if I have a correct understanding of how the system works in addition to the question itself. Please bear with...
  49. A

    Thin film constructive vs destructive concept clarification

    Homework Statement So if light travels from vacuum to oil to water (1 -> 1.4 -> 1.33) how do you know if there is a constructive or destructive interference? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution I know that when it goes from air to the oil there is a phase shift of 1/2...