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Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) Interpretation

  1. Oct 11, 2012 #1
    Very commonly in thin film articles/journals, I find the full width at half maximum of X-ray rocking curves associated with the quality (order) of the surface. For example, if the same material is grown on two different substrates, A and B, with FWHM values of 0.11° for A and 0.6° for B, why do we interpret the quality of the A film to be better than B? In other words, why does a lower FWHM indicate higher crystalline quality?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2012 #2


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    It means the sharper the peak, the less spread in the crystal lattice values. It is more ordered.

  4. Oct 11, 2012 #3
    Your comment helped me locate a pretty good explanation for different material parameters:


    Thanks for the help.
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