Abstract

Cerium oxide films formed by electron-beam evaporation onto oblique substrates are shown to scatter light strongly into spatially anisotropic distributions and to exhibit large normal-incidence birefringence Δn = nsnp. The apparatus for direct recording of a useful projection of the scatter distributions is described. Characteristic differences in scatter patterns recorded for cerium oxide, relative to those from tilted columnar titania and zirconia films, are believed to be associated with unusual microstructures recorded for cerium oxide films by scanning electron microscopy. With increasing angle of deposition, the microstructure of cerium oxide was observed to change from densely packed columns to partially isolated needlelike columns at angles that do not obey the tangent rule. In particular, deposition at 55° yielded columns nearly perpendicular to the substrate, yet the normal-incidence birefringence was large. The retardation of the films was recorded as a function of angle of incidence for propagation in the deposition plane. A turning point near 0° incidence for the 55° film confirmed that one principal axis is perpendicular to the substrate. Significant bunching of columns into rows running perpendicular to the deposition plane was recorded by scanning electron microscopy and may account for both the scatter and the birefringence.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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