Thin nanostructured gold films were deposited on SiO2 by the sputtering technique at room temperature. Films of different thicknesses were deposited ranging from 2 to 16 nm. The film morphology as a function of the thickness was analyzed by microscopic techniques such as atomic force microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. These analyses allowed us to clarify the growth mechanism of the gold nanograins forming the film: in a first stage of growth 2–6 nm normal grain growth proceeds; then 8–16 nm the grain surface energy anisotropy drives the growth of abnormal large gold grains by annihilation of the normal ones. During the abnormal growth other normal grain continue to growth. The normal grain size distribution is showed to be a monomodal log-normal distribution that evolves toward larger mean grain radius continuously following a scaling law. By determination of the grain growth exponent, the kinetic mechanism responsible of the grain growth is demonstrated to be the gold atomic diffusion on grain boundaries. By fitting the experimental data using established theoretical models, the room-temperature gold grain boundary coefficient diffusion and mobility were derived. The abnormal grain grows, manifest itself as a bimodal grain size distribution: with the log-normal distribution of the normal grain size, a second Gaussian grain size distribution rises, shifting toward lower size increasing the film thickness. The abnormal grain growth continues until all the abnormal grain boundaries meet each other.
|Titolo:||Normal and abnormal grain growth in nanostructured gold film|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2009|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|