Surface morphology and elemental composition of CeO2 thin films grown by femtosecond pulsed laser deposition
Cerium oxide (CeO2) thin films have been prepared via femtosecond pulsed laser deposition (fs-PLD) technique onto the silicon (100) substrate. The deposition was carried out at varying oxygen deposition pressure at ambient temperature. The films were characterized using scanning electron microscope (SEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The SEM images of as-deposited samples revealed the smooth and featureless morphology. Microcracks are observed for sample deposited at 0.1 mTorr which can be attributed to resputtering of the film during the PLD. The surface morphology of the film annealed at shows well defined grain boundaries and porosity. The elemental surface composition of as-deposited samples indicates the stoichiometry of the grown CeO2 film. EDS data of annealed sample revealed oxygen deficient CeO2 surface.