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Materials 2018, 11(8), 1475; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081475

Electrical Conductivity and Optical Properties of Pulsed Laser Deposited LaNi5 Nanoscale Films

1
Department of Economics and Physics, Technical University of Cluj Napoca, North University Centre of Baia Mare, 430083 Baia Mare, Maramures, Romania
2
Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, 141980 Dubna, Moscow Oblast, Russia
3
Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, 077125 Bucharest-Magurele, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 14 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 19 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanomaterials and Materials for Translational Research)
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Abstract

This work presents pulsed laser deposition as a method to obtain unoxidized LaNi5 nanoscale films and describes their temperature and thickness dependent electrical conductivity and the spectral dispersions of some optical properties. AB5-type rare earth element (REE)-nickel compounds are currently studied from both theoretical and practical points of view. Special challenges are posed during the preparation of these nanomaterials, which can be overcome using finely tuned parameters in a preparation process that always involves the use of high energies. Film deposition was made by laser—induced vaporization, with short and modulated impulses and electro–optical tuning of the quality factor, mainly on glass and one SiO2 substrate. Deposition geometry dependent linear thickness increase, between 1.5–2.5 nm per laser burst, was achieved. Film structures and phase compositions were determined using XRD and discussed in comparison with films obtained by similar deposition procedures. Temperature and scale dependent properties were determined by studying electrical conductivity and optical properties. Electrical conductivity was measured using the four-probe method. The observed semiconductor-like conductivity for film thicknesses up to 110 nm can be explained by thermal activation of electrons followed by inter-insular hopping or quantum tunneling, which, on the other hand, modulates the material’s native metallic conductance. Films with thicknesses above this value can be considered essentially metallic and bulk-like. The spectral behaviors of the refractive index and absorption coefficient were deduced from differential reflectance spectroscopy data acquired on a broad ultraviolet, visible, near- and mid-infrared (UV-VIS-NIR-MIR) domain, processed using the Kramers-Krönig formalism. Their study led to the identification of the allowed interband transitions. Electronic behavior in the energy bands near the Fermi level and in the surface and interface-states was described, discussing the differences between experimental data and the classical free-electron theoretical model applied for the bulk intermetallic alloy, in correlation with theoretical optical properties or experimental X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results from references. However, the dielectric-like shape of the reflectance of the thinnest film was in accordance with the Lorentz–Drude model. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanoscale films; LaNi5 intermetallic alloy; pulsed laser deposition; electrical and optical properties; temperature dependence; scale dependentce nanoscale films; LaNi5 intermetallic alloy; pulsed laser deposition; electrical and optical properties; temperature dependence; scale dependentce
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Todoran, D.; Todoran, R.; Szakács, Z.; Anitas, E. Electrical Conductivity and Optical Properties of Pulsed Laser Deposited LaNi5 Nanoscale Films. Materials 2018, 11, 1475.

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