Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy Study of the Change in the Free-Electron Density in Thin Superconducting NbN Films under Ion-Beam Irradiation
The change in the free-electron density in ultrathin (5 nm) superconducting NbN films in the initial state and after irradiation by O+ ions to doses of (0.1–0.9) × 1017 cm–2 has been studied by electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS). The analysis has been performed on cross section samples prepared by the focused ion beam method, using plasmon oscillations with energies up to 50 eV. The radiation-induced replacement of nitrogen atoms with oxygen atoms in niobium nitride is found to change the electrical properties of the material, which leads to a decrease in the free-electron density with an increase in the irradiation dose.
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