Title: Surface and Thin Film Characterization of Superconducting Multilayer films for application in RF
Author: Roland Schulze
Institution: Los Alamos National Laboratory
Abstract: The use of multilayer ultra-thin films on the interior surfaces of Nb superconducting RF cavities shows great promise in substantially improving the performance characteristics of superconducting RF cavities into the 100 MV/m range by increasing the RF critical magnetic field, HRF, through careful choice of new materials and thin film structures. However, there are substantial materials science challenges associated with producing such complex film structures, particularly for conformal application of uniform thin films on the interior surfaces of RF cavities. Here we present surface and thin film analysis of ultra-thin films of two candidate materials, MgB2 and NbN superconductors, deposited through several different methods, along with multilayers produced with alternating superconductor and dielectric films. We report on the analysis methods and techniques, using primarily x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Auger spectroscopy with ion sputter depth profiling, and describe results from variety of thin film samples. The materials stability, microstructure, chemistry, and thin film morphology are highly dependent on methods and parameters used in the thin film deposition. From our analysis, important factors for producing quality superconducting and dielectric films include chemical stoichiometry, impurity content, deposition temperature, substrate choice and conditioning, choice of dielectric material, and the nature of the thin film interfaces. These factors will be discussed in the context of the production methods used for these ultra-thin superconducting films.