UV-assisted nucleation and growth of oxide films from chemical solutions
The fabrication of thin oxide films at low temperatures using simple processes has been a significant challenge associated with expanding the potential applications of these materials. Recent developments have demonstrated that the photo-assisted chemical solution deposition (PACSD) process offers a promising means of solving these difficulties, allowing high volume, on-demand production of variable sample sizes using an advantageous wet process. A better understanding of the crystal growth phenomena associated with this process, however, is required to enable various oxide thin films to be prepared using this new concept. Under pulsed ultraviolet (UV) laser irradiation, crystal growth has been confirmed to proceed by near-instantaneous photothermal heating and photochemical effects at the reaction interface. Vacuum UV lamp irradiation is also a useful means of generating oxide nuclei, since it results in effective chemical bond cleavage and simultaneously produces reactive oxidant (O3/O(1D)) species. In this review, the nucleation and growth mechanisms which occur during the PACSD process are introduced and discussed and we examine the future possible applications of this process.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Nucleation and crystallisation