• synchrotron X-ray diffraction;
  • epitaxial thin films;
  • six-axis κ-diffractometer

A multipurpose six-axis κ-diffractometer, together with the brilliance of the ESRF light source and a CCD area detector, has been explored for studying epitaxial relations and crystallinity in thin film systems. The geometrical flexibility of the six-axis goniometer allows measurement of a large volume in reciprocal space, providing an in-depth understanding of sample crystal relationships. By a set of examples of LaAlO3 thin films deposited by the atomic layer deposition technique, the possibilities of the set-up are presented. A fast panoramic scan provides determination of the crystal orientation matrices, prior to more thorough inspection of single Bragg nodes. Such information, in addition to a broadening analysis of families of single reflections, is shown to correlate well with the crystallinity, crystallite size, strain and epitaxial relationships in the thin films. The proposed set-up offers fast and easy sample mounting and alignment, along with crucial information on key features of the thin film structures.