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Title: Coalescence-controlled and coalescence-free growth regimes during deposition of pulsed metal vapor fluxes on insulating surfaces

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 surfaces—which typically yields 3-dimensional growth—by describing analytically the competition between island growth by atomic incorporation and the coalescence rate of islands [Lü 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 frameworkmore » 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.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Linköping University, SE 581 83 Linköping (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22399395
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 13; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; COALESCENCE; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; CONTROL; CRYSTAL GROWTH; DENSITY; DEPOSITION; METALS; MICROSTRUCTURE; MONTE CARLO METHOD; MORPHOLOGY; NUCLEATION; SOLIDS; SUBSTRATES; SURFACES; THIN FILMS; THREE-DIMENSIONAL LATTICES; VAPOR CONDENSATION; VAPORS