Coalescence-controlled and coalescence-free growth regimes during deposition of pulsed metal vapor fluxes on insulating surfaces
2015 (English)In: Journal of Applied Physics, ISSN 0021-8979, E-ISSN 1089-7550, Vol. 117, no 13, 134304Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The morphology and physical properties of thin films deposited by vapor condensation on solid surfaces are predominantly set by the processes of island nucleation, 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. These regimes can be accessed by tuning deposition conditions; however, 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 to control microstructure evolution and thus access a larger palette of film morphological features. Recently, we derived the quantitative criterion to stop coalescence during continuous metal vapor flux deposition on insulating surfaceswhich typically yields 3-dimensional growthby describing analytically the competition between island growth by atomic incorporation and the coalescence rate of islands [Lu et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 163107 (2014)]. Here, we develop the analytical framework for entering a coalescence-free growth regime for metal vapor deposition on insulating substrates using pulsed vapor fluxes, showing that there exist three distinct criteria for suppressing coalescence that correspond 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 atomistic nucleation theory for pulsed vapor deposition to control morphology of thin films beyond the point of island density saturation. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics (AIP) , 2015. Vol. 117, no 13, 134304
Manufacturing, Surface and Joining Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117792DOI: 10.1063/1.49169831ISI: 000352645100033OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-117792DiVA: diva2:811273
Funding Agencies|Linkoping University via the "LiU Research Fellows" program; Swedish Research Council [VR 621-2011-5312]; AForsk through the project "Towards Next Generation Energy Saving Windows"2015-05-112015-05-082015-05-25