Nanostructuring of polycristalline gold thin films, deposited on glass, by means of ion beam
published: Jan. 18, 2008, recorded: October 2007, views: 5685
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Thin solid films appear most commonly in polycrystalline form, which means that they have higly constrained single-crystalline grains. Polycrystalline films are used in a large variety of devices, such as magnetic storage media, catalytic and thermal elements, protective coatings. It is thus desirable to extend to polycrystalline films, the approaches which have been developed for the self-organised formation of nanostructures on single-crystalline metal substrates. Ion beam sputtering can be used to modify surfaces on a nanoscale level, in most cases the result is formation of ripples on the surface. Substrates with well-defined vertical roughness, controlled orientation and periodicity can be achieved by varying macroscopic parameters that influence ripple formation, such as ion beam energy and ion beam dose. Thin Au films (150 nm thick) were deposited on glass microscope slides by two different deposition techniques: thermal and sputter deposition, thus resulting in different initial grain sizes and grain size distributions. The films were then ion beam sputtered in a sequence of different times to determine the evolution of the morphology and the role grain size plays in the morphological characteristics of ion beam sputtered thin films. Resulting morphology was then characaterised by FE-SEM imaging and by AFM, giving data on roughness, wavelength and underlaying grain size evolution. For comparison, commercially obtained gold films grown on mica, which had grain sizes in the order of a few hundred nm, were also included in the experiment.
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