• Pulsed Laser Deposition of Eu-doped Multilayer Thin Films for Spectral Storage Applications

      Hasan, Zameer U.; Gawlinski, Edward T.; Riseborough, Peter; Sadeghipour, Keya; Helferty, John J. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      This thesis studies different Eu optical centers in MgS:Eu and CaS:Eu thin films produced by Chemically Controlled Pulse Laser Deposition (CCPLD) and evaluates their suitability for the development of spectral storage devices of the future. The produced thin films consist of one or more optically active layer(s), MgS:Eu, CaS:Eu or a similar material, and a corresponding ZnS capping layer that functions as a protecting barrier for the other layers and preserves their composition and integrity. Given that the synthesis of the materials used to produce the multilayer structures in this work proved a great challenge, careful attention was given to the optimization of all fabrication parameters. Mass Spectrometry was used during the deposition of the thin films and the data obtained resulted on improvements and optimization of the deposition process. Scanning electron microscopy studies of these thin films were conducted to study degradation upon long-term storage. Microscopy results show that the morphology of the produced thin films is correlated to the growth environment during deposition and deterioration of the deposited materials could be initiated by nano-gaps and cracks in the capping layer of the thin films. In addition to optical centers in MgS:Eu and CaS:Eu, new centers were created by changing the thin film growth environment inside a hi-vacuum chamber, modifying the composition of the ablation target material, or both. For example, introducing O2, or alternatively HCl, inside the CCPLD chamber while producing MgS:Eu thin films results in the formation of impurity associated centers across lattice sites throughout the deposited structures. In another method of impurity doping studied, Cl- and Na+ were introduced into the MgS:Eu and CaS:Eu lattices by mixing trace amounts of the impurity ions into these materials in polycrystalline form and making this mixture a deposition target by hi-pressure cold compression technique. The introduction of these impurity ions will alter the crystal field environment around the Eu ions thus creating new optical centers with a shift in energy of their characteristic Zero Phonon Line. After extensive characterization of the optical properties of the thin films produced, laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy and absorption spectroscopy measurements confirm that they are suitable candidates to be used in conjunction with power-gated spectral holeburning technique and could potentially provide ultrahigh, terabits per square inch, storage densities.