Irradiation induced modification of structural and optical properties of potassium sodium niobate thin films
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In the present study, the effects of swift heavy ion induced modification on the structural, morphological and optical properties of potassium sodium niobate (KNN) thin films have been investigated. KNN thin films were deposited using RF magnetron sputtering onto Si and quartz substrates. Subsequently, as-deposited films were annealed at 700 °C in air ambience for crystallization. Eventually, these crystalline films were irradiated using 100 MeV Ag ions at various fluences ranging from 1 × 1012 to 1 × 1013 ions/cm2. The crystalline and irradiated films were characterized using various techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy, and UV–Vis spectroscopy. XRD results reveal that the crystallinity of films decreases drastically upon irradiation and almost disappeared at 1 × 1013 ions/cm2. Raman spectra show the different vibration modes of NbO6 octahedra. Raman peaks intensity is decreased and the peaks get broadened due to irradiation which indicates the amorphous nature of films. Variation in surface morphology and roughness of films before and after irradiation is studied using AFM. The minimum value of roughness is observed at 5 × 1012 ions/cm2. Ion beam irradiation results in the variation of transmittance and optical band gap of the films. The optical band gap of crystalline KNN film is found to be 3.82 eV which decreased to 3.72 eV upon irradiation at 5 × 1012 ions/cm2. The monotonous decrease in the refractive index and packing density of films is also observed with ion fluence.
Radhe Shyam would like to thank UGC, New Delhi for UGC-JRF fellowship. Authors acknowledge IUAC, New Delhi for providing ion beam facilities and Materials Research Centre (MRC), MNIT Jaipur, for characterization facilities.
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