Growth regimes during metal-on-insulator deposition using pulsed vapor fluxes
2014 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
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.
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IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112134DiVA: diva2:763698