Three-dimensional in situ imaging of single-grain growth in polycrystalline In2O3:Zr films

Dmitry Dzhigaev*, Yury Smirnov, Pierre Alexis Repecaud, Lucas Atila Bernardes Marçal, Giovanni Fevola, Dina Sheyfer, Quentin Jeangros, Wonsuk Cha, Ross Harder, Anders Mikkelsen, Jesper Wallentin, Monica Morales-Masis, Michael Elias Stuckelberger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Strain and interactions at grain boundaries during solid-phase crystallization are known to play a significant role in the functional properties of polycrystalline materials. However, elucidating three-dimensional nanoscale grain morphology, kinetics, and strain under realistic conditions is challenging. Here, we image a single-grain growth during the amorphous-to-polycrystalline transition in technologically relevant transparent conductive oxide film of In2O3:Zr with in situ Bragg coherent X-ray diffraction imaging and transmission electron microscopy. We find that the Johnson-Mehl-Avrami-Kolmogorov theory, which describes the average kinetics of polycrystalline films growth, can be applied to the single grains as well. The quantitative analysis stems directly from imaging results. We elucidate the interface-controlled nature of the single-grain growth in thin films and reveal the surface strains which may be a driving force for anisotropic crystallization rates. Our results bring in situ imaging with coherent X-rays towards understanding and controlling the crystallization processes of transparent conductive oxides and other polycrystalline materials at the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalCommunications Materials
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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