Characterization of MBa2Cu3O7-x Thin Films by Raman Microspectroscopy

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Thin film embodiments of MBa2Cu3O7-x (MBCO, M = yttrium or a rare-earth metal) prepared by several different deposition methods on a variety of substrates were investigated by Raman microspectroscopy. Several of the unique characterization capabilities of Raman spectroscopy in the analysis of MBCO thin films are highlighted by the results of these investigations. The Raman active phonons of the orthorhombic and tetragonal forms of MBCO that are most useful for characterization of textured MBCO films are diagrammed and discussed. A rapid procedure for qualitative texture mapping of MBCO thin films using Raman microscopy techniques is presented, and a new approach for investigating phase separation at the sub-micrometer level in MBCO thin films based on curve resolution of the MBCO Cu2 phonon is described. The assignment of a particular feature often observed in Raman spectra of MBCO films to cation disorder is reinforced by results of a cation substitution study. The depth of penetration of the laser into MBCO films and the type of information that can be obtained by varying the extent of defocusing of the laser are also discussed.
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