Thermal Annealing and Laser Treatment of Sol-gel Derived Zirconia Thin Films
Soluble precursor powders were prepared from zirconium propoxide and acetylacetone by evaporation of volatile products directly after the hydrolysis step. Dissolution of the solid residue resulted in solutions that were further processed by dip coating on glass substrates. One set of as dried films was thermally annealed in an oven at temperatures between 300 and 600°C. In parallel, samples were irradiated by a CO2laser, in doing so laser power density and beam feed rate were varied. The thermally cured and laser treated film series were characterized with respect to film thickness, refractive index, phase content, crystallite size and film microstructure.