The thermal stability of e-beam deposited multilayers (MLs) for soft X-ray reflection optics was studied under XeCl laser processing in vacuum. MLs with five Co/Si/W/Si periods, each 13.5 nm (MLS1) or 18.4 nm (MLS2) were deposited onto oxidized Si and irradiated at the fluences of 0.075-0.62 J cm(-2) by 1 or 100 pulses. The samples were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, hard X-ray reflectivity and sheet resistance measurements. The layered structure of our samples persists up to 0.62 J cm(-2) per 1 pulse for MLS2 and 0.62 J cm(-2) per 100 pulses for MLS 1 irradiations. The thermal stability of MLS 1 is even better than for W/Si MLs studied previously. In laser irradiated samples the Co(2)Si(3) phase which is normally formed under high pressures (> 4 GPa) was found. It has not been reported in the film couples so far. The high thermal stability and Co(2)Si(3) formation in MLS1 are explained by complex Go-Si silicide formation conditions and compressive stress parallel to the surface of irradiated samples.
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