Faculté des sciences

Structural and optical properties of MgxAl1-xHy gradient thin films: a combinatorial approach

Gremaud, Robin ; Borgschulte, A. ; Chacon, C. ; Mechelen, J.L.M. van ; Schreuders, H. ; Züttel, Andreas ; Hjörvarsson, B. ; Dam, B. ; Griessen, R.

In: Applied Physics A, 2006, vol. 84(1-2), p. 77-85

The structural, optical and dc electrical properties of MgxAl1-x (0.2≤x≤0.9) gradient thin films covered with Pd/Mg are investigated before and after exposure to hydrogen. We use hydrogenography, a novel high-throughput optical technique, to map simultaneously all the hydride forming compositions and the kinetics thereof in the gradient thin film. Metallic Mg in the... More

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    Summary
    The structural, optical and dc electrical properties of MgxAl1-x (0.2≤x≤0.9) gradient thin films covered with Pd/Mg are investigated before and after exposure to hydrogen. We use hydrogenography, a novel high-throughput optical technique, to map simultaneously all the hydride forming compositions and the kinetics thereof in the gradient thin film. Metallic Mg in the MgxAl1-x layer undergoes a metal-to-semiconductor transition and MgH₂ is formed for all Mg fractions x investigated. The presence of an amorphous Mg-Al phase in the thin film phase diagram enhances strongly the kinetics of hydrogenation. In the Al-rich part of the film, a complex H-induced segregation of MgH₂ and Al occurs. This uncommon large-scale segregation is evidenced by metal and hydrogen profiling using Rutherford backscattering spectrometry and resonant nuclear analysis based on the reaction ¹H(¹⁵N,αγ)¹²C. Besides MgH₂, an additional semiconducting phase is found by electrical conductivity measurements around an atomic [Al]/[Mg] ratio of 2 (x=0.33). This suggests that the film is partially transformed into Mg(AlH₄)₂ at around this composition.