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Issue 11, 2013
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From atoms to layers: in situ gold cluster growth kinetics during sputter deposition

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Abstract

The adjustment of size-dependent catalytic, electrical and optical properties of gold cluster assemblies is a very significant issue in modern applied nanotechnology. We present a real-time investigation of the growth kinetics of gold nanostructures from small nuclei to a complete gold layer during magnetron sputter deposition with high time resolution by means of in situ microbeam grazing incidence small-angle X-ray scattering (μGISAXS). We specify the four-stage growth including their thresholds with sub-monolayer resolution and identify phase transitions monitored in Yoneda intensity as a material-specific characteristic. An innovative and flexible geometrical model enables the extraction of morphological real space parameters, such as cluster size and shape, correlation distance, layer porosity and surface coverage, directly from reciprocal space scattering data. This approach enables a large variety of future investigations of the influence of different process parameters on the thin metal film morphology. Furthermore, our study allows for deducing the wetting behavior of gold cluster films on solid substrates and provides a better understanding of the growth kinetics in general, which is essential for optimization of manufacturing parameters, saving energy and resources.

Graphical abstract: From atoms to layers: in situ gold cluster growth kinetics during sputter deposition

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Publication details

The article was received on 20 Dec 2012, accepted on 30 Mar 2013 and first published on 08 Apr 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34216F
Citation: Nanoscale, 2013,5, 5053-5062
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    From atoms to layers: in situ gold cluster growth kinetics during sputter deposition

    M. Schwartzkopf, A. Buffet, V. Körstgens, E. Metwalli, K. Schlage, G. Benecke, J. Perlich, M. Rawolle, A. Rothkirch, B. Heidmann, G. Herzog, P. Müller-Buschbaum, R. Röhlsberger, R. Gehrke, N. Stribeck and S. V. Roth, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 5053
    DOI: 10.1039/C3NR34216F

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