Dynamics of the Early Stages in Metal-on-Insulator Thin Film Deposition
2014 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Thin films consist of nanoscale layers of material that are used in many technological applications to either functionalize a surface or serve as parts in miniaturized devices. The properties of a film are closely related to its microstructure, which in turn can be tuned during film preparation. Thin film growth involves a multitude of atomic-scale processes that cannot always be easily studied experimentally. Therefore, different types of computer simulations have been developed in order to test theoretical models of thin film growth in a highly controlled way. To be able to compare simulation and experimental results, the simulations must be able to model events on experimental time-scales, i.e. several seconds or minutes. This is achievable with the kinetic Monte Carlo method.
In this work, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations are used to model the initial growth stages of metal films on insulating, amorphous substrates. This includes the processes of island nucleation, three-dimensional island growth and island coalescence. Both continuous and pulsed vapor fluxes are investigated as deposition sources, and relations between deposition parameters and film morphology are formulated. Specifically, the film thickness at what is known as the “elongation transition” is studied as a function of the temporal profile of the vapor flux, adatom diffusivity and the coalescence rate. Since the elongation transition occurs due to hindrance of coalescence completion, two separate scaling behaviors of the elongation transition film thickness are found: one where coalescence occurs frequently and one where coalescence occurs infrequently. In the latter case, known nucleation behaviors can be used favorably to control the morphology of thin films, as these behaviors are not erased by island coalescence. Experimental results of Ag growth on amorphous SiO2 that confirm the existence of these two “growth regimes” are also presented for both pulsed and continuous deposition by magnetron sputtering. Knowledge of how to avoid coalescence for different deposition conditions allows nucleation for metal-on-insulator material systems to be studied and relevant physical quantities to be determined in a way not previously possible. This work also aids understanding of the growth evolution of polycrystalline films, which in conjunction with advanced deposition techniques allows thin films to be tailored to specific applications.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2014. , 54 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1687
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-112136DOI: 10.3384/lic.diva-112136ISBN: 978-91-7519-192-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-112136DiVA: diva2:763736
Sarakinos, Kostas, Associate ProfessorMünger, Peter, Dr.
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