Ceramic multi-layer coatings

Rudolf Winter*, Kristin Hoydalsvik, Twi Barnardo (Aberystwyth University), Sylvio Haas, Dragomir Tatchev, Armin Hoell (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin)

Systems comprising a number of chemically distinct ceramic layers play important roles in a number of energy-generating devices such as thin-film photovoltaics and fuel cells. The performance of these systems is often limited and sometimes enhanced by the microstructure of the layers (porosity, granularity, particle alignment) and by the quality of the bonding between adjacent layers. We report grazing-incidence small-angle x-ray scattering (GISAXS) experiments which monitor the formation of ceramic multi-layer systems from sol-gel precursors by successive application of dip coatings. The evolution of each layer structure during firing is monitored using in-situ GISAXS. We also report early results from stress measurements in buried layers due to interfacial strain following the deposition of subsequent layers using energy-dispersive diffraction.