Synchrotron characterization techniques provide some of the most powerful tools for the study of film structure and chemistry. The brilliance and tunability of the Advanced Photon Source allow access to scattering and spectroscopic techniques unavailable with in-house laboratory setups and provide the opportunity to probe various atomic layer deposition (ALD) processes in situ starting at the very first deposition cycle. Here, we present the design and implementation of a portable ALD instrument which possesses a modular reactor scheme that enables simple experimental switchover between various beamlines and characterization techniques. As first examples, we present in situ results for (1) X-ray surface scattering and reflectivity measurements of epitaxial ZnO ALD on sapphire, (2) grazing-incidence small angle scattering of MnO nucleation on silicon, and (3) grazing-incidence X-ray absorption spectroscopy of nucleation-regime Er2O3 ALD on amorphous ALD alumina and single crystalline sapphire.
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