Morphology of Ag(100) thin films on Fe/GaAs(100) substrates: the influence of film thickness and annealing processes studied by scanning tunneling microscopy

Lösch, J.; Leinenbach, P.; Memmert, U.; Hartmann, U.
June 1998
Applied Physics A: Materials Science & Processing;1998, Vol. 66 Issue 7, pS1133
Academic Journal
Abstract. Epitaxial Ag(100) thin films were prepared on Fe/GaAs(100) by room temperature deposition. The films were examined by scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) before and alter an annealing procedure at 500-600 K. The as-grown films display percolating grains with channels, reaching down to the substrate in-between the grains for 15 nm films, and a number of remaining holes for 75 nm films. The annealing process leads to remarkable changes of the film morphology. For 15 nm films the Ag agglomerates into a few grains, up to 100nm high. Films of more than 50nm thickness are converted into completely closed layers with a low surface roughness. The surfaces of these films still show a number of structural defects, which are mainly screw dislocations.


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