Dynamic force microscopy study of the microstructural evolution of pulsed laser deposited ultrathin Ni and Ag films

Abstract

Ultrathin films (6–10 nm) of silver and nickel were deposited by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) in high vacuum (1 × 10−6 mbar). Microstructural evolution of these films as function of incident laser energy, substrate temperature, substrate material [borosilicate glass, fused silica, MgO(100) and Si (311)] and target–substrate distance was studied in detail using dynamic force microscopy. It is shown that with increase in laser energy incident on the target, there is a substantial increase in particle size in the film. The effect of increased laser energy on microstructure is much more drastic than that for the increase of substrate temperature. In general, denser packing of nanoparticles and increased clustering have been observed at elevated substrate temperature. Increase in laser energy gives rise to higher average grain size, packing density, and clustering in comparison to substrate temperature. It is observed that the aspect ratio of grains is dependent on incident laser fluence and substrate temperature, but more drastically on the substrate material. Substrate coverage and aspect ratio of the grains are particularly dependent on the nature of crystallinity of the substrates. It is demonstrated that PLD provides a greater degree of microstructural manipulation than other physical vapor deposition techniques.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

FIG. 1
FIG. 2
FIG. 3
FIG. 4
FIG. 5
FIG. 6
FIG. 7
FIG. 8
FIG. 9
FIG. 10
FIG. 11
FIG. 12
FIG. 13
FIG. 14

References

  1. 1

    D.P. Norton: in Pulsed Laser Deposition of Thin Film Applications Led Growth of Functional Materials edited by R. Eason Wiley-Interscience Hoboken, NJ 2007 Chap. 1 3

  2. 2

    J. Shena, Z. Gai J. Kirschner: Growth and magnetism of metallic thin films and multilayers by pulsed-laser deposition. Surf. Sci. Rep. 52, 163 2004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    T.J. Jackson S.B. Palmer: Oxide superconductor and magnetic metal thin film deposition by pulsed laser ablation: A review. J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 27, 1581 1994

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    K.C. Magdalena, R. Chmielowski, A. Kopia, J. Kusinski, S. Villain, C. Leroux J-R. Gavarri: Multiphase CuO–CeO thin films by pulsed laser deposition technique: Experimental texture evolutions and kinetics modeling. Thin Solid Films 458, 98 2004

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    T. Venkatesan S.M. Green: Pulsed laser deposition: Thin films in a flash. The Industrial Physicist 2, 22 1996

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    J.M. Warrender M.J. Aziz: Evolution of Ag nanocrystal films grown by pulsed laser deposition. Appl. Phys. A 79, 713 2004

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    S.J. Henley, J.D. Carey S.R.P. Silva: Pulsed-laser-induced nanoscale island formation in thin metal-on-oxide films. Phys. Rev. B: Condens. Matter 72, 195408 2005

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    T. Donnelly, B. Doggett J.G. Lunney: Pulsed laser deposition of nanostructured Ag films. Appl. Surf. Sci. 252, 4445 2006

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    D. Jang D. Kim: Synthesis of nanoparticles by pulsed laser ablation of consolidated metal microparticles. Appl. Phys. A 79, 1985 2004

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    S.K. So, H.H. Fong, C.F. Yeung N.H. Cheunga: Transmittance and resistivity of semicontinuous copper films prepared by pulsed-laser deposition. Appl. Phys. Lett. 77, 1099 2000

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    C.R. Phipps, T.P. Turner, R.F. Harrison, G.W. York, W.S. Osborne, G.K. Anderson, X.F. Corlis, L.C. Haynes, H.S. Steele, K.C. Spicochi T.R. King: Impulse coupling to targets in vacuum by KrF, HF, and CO2 single-pulse lasers. J. Appl. Phys. 64, 1083 1988

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    H.U. Krebs O. Bremert: Pulsed laser deposition of thin metallic alloys. Appl. Phys. Lett. 62, 2341 1993

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13

    H.U. Krebs: Characteristic properties of laser deposited metallic systems. J. Non-Equilibrium Proc. 10, 3 1997

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. 14

    S. Fahler H.U. Krebs: Calculations and experiments of material removal and kinetic energy during pulsed laser ablation of metals. Appl. Surf. Sci. 96, 61 1996

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15

    J. Lunney: Pulsed laser deposition of metal and metal multilayer films. Appl. Surf. Sci. 86, 79 1995

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16

    W. Demtraoder W. Jantz: Investigation of laser-produced plasmas from metal surfaces. Plasma Phys. 12, 691 1970

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17

    C.A. Neugebauer: Condensation, nucleation and growth of thin films in Handbook of Thin Film Technology edited by L.I. Maissel and R. Glang McGraw Hill New York 1970 Chap. 8 8.3

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge facilities provided by the University Grants Commission under the University with Potential for Excellence (UPE) and Centre of Advanced Study (CAS) programs and the Department of Science and Technology under the Funds for Infrastructure for Science and Technology (FIST) program. P. Kumar acknowledges the receipt of a fellowship under the CAS program.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. Ghanashyam Krishna.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Kumar, P., Krishna, M.G., Bhatnagar, A. et al. Dynamic force microscopy study of the microstructural evolution of pulsed laser deposited ultrathin Ni and Ag films. Journal of Materials Research 23, 1826–1839 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1557/JMR.2008.0228

Download citation