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Critical thickness for the agglomeration of thin metal films

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.155443 DOI Help

Authors: C. Boragno (Università di Genova) , F. B De Mongeot (Università di Genova) , R. Felici (ESRF) , I. K. Robinson (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 79 (15) , PAGES 155443

State: Published (Approved)
Published: April 2009

Abstract: A thin metal film can exist in a metastable state with respect to breaking into small clusters. In this paper we report on grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering studies carried out in situ during the annealing of thin Ni films, between 2 and 10 nm thick, deposited on an amorphous SiO2 substrate. Our results show the presence of two different regimes which depend on the initial film thickness. For thicknesses less than 5 nm the annealing results in the formation of small, compact clusters on top of a residual Ni wetting layer. For thicknesses greater than 5 nm the film breaks into large, well-separated clusters and the substrate shows anuncovered clean surface.

Subject Areas: Physics

Facility: APS