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Nano-indentation of single-layer optical oxide thin films grown by electron-beam deposition

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Abstract

Mechanical characterization of optical oxide thin films is performed using nano-indentation, and the results are explained based on the deposition conditions used. These oxide films are generally deposited to have a porous microstructure that optimizes laser induced damage thresholds, but changes in deposition conditions lead to varying degrees of porosity, density, and possibly the microstructure of the thin film. This can directly explain the differences in the mechanical properties of the film studied here and those reported in literature. Of the four single-layer thin films tested, alumina was observed to demonstrate the highest values of nano-indentation hardness and elastic modulus. This is likely a result of the dense microstructure of the thin film arising from the particular deposition conditions used.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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