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Growth regimes during metal-on-insulator deposition using pulsed vapor fluxes
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0908-7187
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Theoretical Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Plasma and Coating Physics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The morphology and physical properties of thin films deposited by vapor condensation on solid surfaces are predominantly set by the initial surface processes of nucleation, island growth and coalescence. When deposition is performed using pulsed vapor fluxes, three distinct nucleation regimes are known to exist depending on the temporal profile of the flux. While these regimes can be accessed by tuning deposition conditions, their effect on film microstructure becomes marginal when coalescence sets in and erases morphological features obtained during nucleation. By preventing coalescence from being completed, these nucleation regimes can be used in a straightforward manner to control microstructure evolution and thus access a larger palette of film morphological features. Recently, we proposed a mechanism and derived the quantitative criterion to stop coalescence during continuous vapor flux deposition, based on a competition between island growth by atomic incorporation and the coalescence rate of islands [Lü et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 163107 (2014)]. In the present study, we develop the analytical framework for entering a coalescence-free growth regime for thin film deposition using pulse vapor fluxes, showing that there exist three distinct criteria corresponding to the three nucleation regimes of pulsed vapor flux deposition. The theoretical framework developed herein is substantiated by kinetic Monte Carlo growth simulations. Our findings highlight the possibility of using classical nucleation theory for pulsed vapor deposition to design materials which have an inherent tendency to coalesce.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112134DiVA: diva2:763698
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2014-11-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Dynamics of the Early Stages in Metal-on-Insulator Thin Film Deposition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dynamics of the Early Stages in Metal-on-Insulator Thin Film Deposition
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thin films consist of nanoscale layers of material that are used in many technological applications to either functionalize a surface or serve as parts in miniaturized devices. The properties of a film are closely related to its microstructure, which in turn can be tuned during film preparation. Thin film growth involves a multitude of atomic-scale processes that cannot always be easily studied experimentally. Therefore, different types of computer simulations have been developed in order to test theoretical models of thin film growth in a highly controlled way. To be able to compare simulation and experimental results, the simulations must be able to model events on experimental time-scales, i.e. several seconds or minutes. This is achievable with the kinetic Monte Carlo method.

In this work, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations are used to model the initial growth stages of metal films on insulating, amorphous substrates. This includes the processes of island nucleation, three-dimensional island growth and island coalescence. Both continuous and pulsed vapor fluxes are investigated as deposition sources, and relations between deposition parameters and film morphology are formulated. Specifically, the film thickness at what is known as the “elongation transition” is studied as a function of the temporal profile of the vapor flux, adatom diffusivity and the coalescence rate. Since the elongation transition occurs due to hindrance of coalescence completion, two separate scaling behaviors of the elongation transition film thickness are found: one where coalescence occurs frequently and one where coalescence occurs infrequently. In the latter case, known nucleation behaviors can be used favorably to control the morphology of thin films, as these behaviors are not erased by island coalescence. Experimental results of Ag growth on amorphous SiO2 that confirm the existence of these two “growth regimes” are also presented for both pulsed and continuous deposition by magnetron sputtering. Knowledge of how to avoid coalescence for different deposition conditions allows nucleation for metal-on-insulator material systems to be studied and relevant physical quantities to be determined in a way not previously possible. This work also aids understanding of the growth evolution of polycrystalline films, which in conjunction with advanced deposition techniques allows thin films to be tailored to specific applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. 54 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1687
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112136 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-112136 (DOI)978-91-7519-192-8 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2014-11-18Bibliographically approved

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Lü, BoMünger, E. PeterSarakinos, Kostas

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