Investigating the growth of localized defects in thin films using gold nanospheres

Mirkarimi, P. B.; Mirkarimi, P.B.; Stearns, D. G.; Stearns, D.G.
October 2000
Applied Physics Letters;10/2/2000, Vol. 77 Issue 14
Academic Journal
The response of a thin film to a localized perturbation at the substrate has been studied using a technique for depositing high densities of monodisperse Au nanospheres of known sizes on silicon substrates. We find that the morphology of a defect nucleated by a gold sphere several tens of nm in diameter can vary strongly with the growth conditions, even when the morphology of the unperturbed film does not. In particular we observed that the angle of incidence of the deposition flux plays a strong role in defect evolution during film growth, and that defect smoothing is enhanced when the deposition flux is directed nearly normal to the substrate surface. This work opens the door for a greater understanding of film growth on substrate defects and significantly impacts emerging technologies such as extreme ultraviolet lithography. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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