Synthesis of yttriumtrihydride films for ex-situ measurements

J. N. Huiberts*, J. H. Rector, R. J. Wijngaarden, S. Jetten, D. De Groot, B. Dam, N. J. Koeman, R. Griessen, B. Hjörvarsson, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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A new method has been developed to synthesize compact yttriumtrihydride by making use of a thin film technique. For electrical measurements yttrium films of typically 500 nm thickness are covered under UHV conditions by a 5 nm thick palladium overlayer which consists of electrically disconnected islands. Loading of these films with hydrogen up to the trihydride phase can then be done ex-situ in a reasonably short time (around 20-40 h) by applying gas pressures of about 60 × 105 Pa. For a thicker Pd layer (above 20 nm) this time can be considerably shorter (t ∼ 125 s). The film morphology stays intact during the loading process although the film thickness increases by approximately 11% and the crystal structure changes from h.c.p. to f.c.c. and back to h.c.p. These samples are, therefore, very well suited for an investigation of the remarkable electrical and optical properties of trihydrides, as recently reported by Huiberts et al. (Nature, 380, 1996, 231). In this article we give evidence for the island structure of the palladium overlayer and make a comparison of a number of physical properties of yttrium and its related hydrides as thin films with literature values for the same material in bulk form. These properties include lattice parameters for the different hydride phases, electrical resistivity for yttrium and its dihydride and Hall coefficient for yttrium. The characteristics of the yttriumhydride thin films are very similar to those of bulk material. Furthermore, we performed concentration measurements and resistivity measurements during hydrogen loading. It is shown that the resistivity rises three orders of magnitude when yttrium is loaded up to the trihydride phase at 60 × 105 Pa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-171
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the group of E. Karlsson (University of Uppsala) for their help with the 15N hydrogen profiling measurements and to AMOLF for enabling us to perform RBS measurements. This work is part of the research program of the "Stichting voor Fundamenteel Onderzoek der Materie" (FOM), which is financially supported by NWO. One of us (Y.S.C.) is grateful to the "Non-directed Research Fund", Korean Research Foundation, 1991.


  • Characterization
  • Hydrogen in metals
  • Metal-insulator transitions
  • Metallic films
  • Trihydrides


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