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Morphological Evolution of Ag/Mica Films Grown by Pulsed Laser Deposition Jeffrey M. Warrender & Michael J. Aziz
 

Summary: Morphological Evolution of Ag/Mica Films Grown by Pulsed Laser Deposition
Jeffrey M. Warrender & Michael J. Aziz
Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard University
ABSTRACT
Many vapor-deposited metal-on-insulator films exhibit a morphological progression with
increasing thickness consisting of several distinct stages: (1) nucleation of 3-dimensional na-
nocrystalline islands; (2) elongation of the islands; (3) film percolation. Here we report a
study of this progression during Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD), a technique for film deposi-
tion that differs from thermal deposition in that the depositing species arrive in short ener-
getic bursts, leading to instantaneous deposition fluxes orders of magnitude higher than can
be achieved in thermal growth. Atomic Force Microscopy reveals that advancement through
this same morphological progression occurs at lower thickness in PLD films relative to films
grown under comparable conditions by thermal deposition, with PLD films having lower
RMS roughness at a given thickness. We also observe that for a constant amount deposited
per pulse, films deposited at higher laser pulse frequency are further advanced in morpho-
logical state. Kinetic Monte Carlo simulations reveal that PLD nucleation behavior differs
from that of thermally deposited films, and this can account for the observed differences.
Simulations also reveal a scaling of the percolation thickness with pulse frequency that is
consistent with experiment.

  

Source: Aziz, Michael J.- School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

 

Collections: Physics; Materials Science