Elastic properties of nanocrystalline zirconium-silicon-boron thin films

M. Chirita, H. Xia, R. Sooryakumar, J. B. Tolle, V. M. Torres, B. J. Wilkens, David Smith, John Kouvetakis, I. S T Tsong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Thin amorphous films of ZrB3 grown on Si(111) substrates by chemical-vapor deposition are, upon annealing at 960 °C, transformed to films composed of nanocrystallites (6-10 nm extent) with a nominal composition of Zr0.9Si0.3B3. The independent elastic constants of the layers are determined from the dispersion of the surface and pseudo-Sezawa acoustic excitations and reveal large enhancements in the C11 and C44 constants accompanying the conversion of ZrB3 to the nanocrystalline phase. Since the transverse sound velocities of the binary and Zr0.9Si0.3B3 are in near resonance with the sound velocity of Si (VSiT = 4.8 km/s), only the Rayleigh surface wave is localized to the film while all higher-order acoustic modes are evanescent. Despite the strong decay channels, high-lying excitations with velocities as large as 25 km/s (≫ VSiT) are observed in Brillouin light scattering. Insight into these acoustic properties is provided by evaluating the elastodynamic Green's functions and associated acoustic-mode densities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4349-4353
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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