The dependence of the structures of the CeO2/YSZ (Y2O3-ZrO2)/Si multilayer thin films on the YSZ thickness was investigated by HRTEM. The CeO2/YSZ interface is semicoherent with misfit dislocations for the films with 110 nm and 30 nm YSZ thickness. On the other hand, the structure of the films with 0.5 nm YSZ layer are very muzzy since the YSZ is very disordered. However, the CeO2 layer on the 0.5 nm of the YSZ has the lowest mosaicity (highest quality) near the surface, although once the epitaxy is weakened in the YSZ layer and the CeO2 layer just above the YSZ. The mosaicity of the YSZ layer is thought not to be taken over into the CeO2 layer since the columnar structure of the thinner YSZ layer becomes obscure. Moreover, a YSZ layer of only 0.5 nm could inhibit the reduction of CeO2 by Si. The ultra thin YSZ layer of 0.5 nm is necessary because it inhibits the growth of the columnar structure and protects the protection of CeO2 layer from reduction.
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Kiguchi, T., Wakiya, N., Shinozaki, K. et al. Structure Analysis of CeO2/ZrO2/Si Multilayer Thin Films by Hrtem. MRS Online Proceedings Library 592, 191–196 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-592-183