Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Pritish Mukherjee

Co-Major Professor

Sarath Witanachchi


hydrodynamic modeling, ICCD imaging, in-situ growth, PLD, polycrystalline, power factor


The on-going interest in thermoelectric (TE) materials, in the form of bulk and films, motivates investigation of materials that exhibit low thermal conductivity and good electrical conductivity. Such materials are phonon-glass electron-crystals (PGEC), and the multi-component type-I clathrate Ba8Ga16Ge30 is in this category. This work reports the first investigation of Ba8Ga16Ge30 films grown by pulsed laser deposition (PLD).

This dissertation details the in-situ growth of polycrystalline type-I clathrate Ba8Ga16Ge30 thin-films by pulsed laser ablation. Films deposited using conventional laser ablation produced films that contained a high density of particulates and exhibited weak crystallinity. In order to produce high quality, polycrystalline, particulate-free films, a dual-laser ablation process was used that combines the pulses of (UV) KrF excimer and (IR) CO2 lasers that are temporally synchronized and spatially overlapped on the target surface. The effect of the laser energy on stoichiometric removal of material and morphology of the target has been investigated. In addition, in-situ time-gated emission spectroscopy and imaging techniques were used to monitor expansion of components in the ablated plumes. Through these investigations, the growth parameters were optimized not only to significantly reduce the particulate density but also to produce large area stoichiometric films. Structure and electrical transport properties of the resultant films were also evaluated. This work provides new insight toward the in-situ growth of complex multi-component structures in thin-film form for potential TE applications.