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The unprecedented growth in the semiconductor, electronics and storage industries is the result of continued miniaturization of circuit devices, increases in chip functionality, and increased storage capacity and performance, along with a decrease in per-function cost. Hardware shrinkage has taken place, leading to similar decreases in the dimensions of interconnection wires, contact metallization and magnetic storage footprints. The increasingly important role of surfaces, interfaces, defects and impurities has raised serious materials questions about how to control the properties of polycrystalline thin films used in applications requiring tight performance tolerances. The understanding of polycrystalline film structures during growth, and the evolution of various film properties with time and temperature, is critical to the successful design and development of smaller devices. This book, first published in 1999, highlights the directions taken to understand and control the properties of polycrystalline materials. Topics include: magnetic thin films; microstructure, texture and stress; copper microstructure; nanocrystalline magnetic thin films and thin-film permanent magnets.
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