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Critical thickness for the agglomeration of thin metal films

Boragno, C; de Mongeot, FB; Felici, R; Robinson, IK; (2009) Critical thickness for the agglomeration of thin metal films. PHYS REV B , 79 (15) , Article 155443. 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.155443.

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Abstract

A thin metal film can exist in a metastable state with respect to breaking into small clusters. In this paper we report on grazing incidence small-angle x-ray scattering studies carried out in situ during the annealing of thin Ni films, between 2 and 10 nm thick, deposited on an amorphous SiO2 substrate. Our results show the presence of two different regimes which depend on the initial film thickness. For thicknesses less than 5 nm the annealing results in the formation of small, compact clusters on top of a residual Ni wetting layer. For thicknesses greater than 5 nm the film breaks into large, well-separated clusters and the substrate shows an uncovered clean surface.

Type: Article
Title: Critical thickness for the agglomeration of thin metal films
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.155443
Keywords: annealing, metallic thin films, metastable states, nickel, wetting, X-ray scattering, CAPILLARY INSTABILITIES, TISI2
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/118310
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