We prepare TiO2 samples using Titanium Isopropoxide, Ethanol, and Glacial Acid; We increase the amount of ethanol to decrease the thickness of the layer. However, the layers with thicknesses >40 nm show a rather poor resolution with both SEM and AFM techniques. It is reproducible and depends only on the sample. In the same measurement session, we got good resolution for thin films and bad resolution for thick ones.

We thought it was concerned with some reaction products in the film making it soft(?) and so we annealed samples at 500 C, but the resolution was not improved after that.

What can it be?

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