Molecular dynamics study of the growth of a metal nanoparticle array by solid dewetting
We investigated the effect of the substrate and the ambient temperature on the growth of a metal nanoparticle array (nanoarray) on a solid-patterned substrate by dewetting a Au liquid film using an atomic simulation technique. The patterned substrate was constructed by introducing different interaction potentials for two atom groups (C1 and C2) in the graphene-like substrate. The C1 group had a stronger interaction between the Au film and the substrate and was composed of regularly distributed circular disks with radius R and distance D between the centers of neighboring disks. Our simulation results demonstrate that R and D have a strikingly different influence on the growth of the nanoparticle arrays. The degree of order of the nanoarray increases first before it reaches a peak and then decreases for increasing R at fixed D. However, the degree of order increases monotonously when D is increased and reaches a saturated value beyond a critical value of D for a fixed R. Interestingly, a labyrinth-like structure appeared during the dewetting process of the metal film. The simulation results also indicated that the temperature was an important factor in controlling the properties of the nanoarray. An appropriate temperature leads to an optimized nanoarray with a uniform grain size and well-ordered particle distribution. These results are important for understanding the dewetting behaviors of metal films on solid substrates and understanding the growth of highly ordered metal nanoarrays using a solid-patterned substrate method.
KeywordsMetal nanoarray Dewetting Pre-patterned substrate Molecular dynamics Modeling and simulation
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11204261) and the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province, China (Grant No. 2018JJ2381).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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