In-situ X-ray Studies of Materials Synthesis
Nearly all current and future energy technologies require improved and innovative materials of high quality and specific functionality in order to meet increasing energy demands and to reach their full potential. As such, understanding and controlling materials synthesis is key to the future of energy conversion and production. Because many of the processes governing materials synthesis cannot be studied in isolation and take place in harsh environments, significant insight can be gained by utilizing in-situ x-ray techniques to probe the growth environment in real-time.
In-situ probes have the potential to reveal the mechanisms and non-equilibrium pathways by which materials form, and they are a powerful way to uncover avenues to the formation of new and better materials. In this colloquium, I will discuss progress we have made in understanding the synthesis of complex oxides and semiconducting nitrides via in-situ Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) and rf-magnetron sputtering studies at the Advanced Photon Source that have led to an enhanced understanding of the role that surfaces and interfaces play in the growth behavior and quality of material synthesized. I will also discuss potential future directions for extending our use of in-situ x-ray scattering to understand materials synthesis processes.