On the deposition mechanisms and the formation of glassy Cu–Zr thin films

Almyras, G. A.; Matenoglou, G. M.; Komninou, Ph.; Kosmidis, C.; Patsalas, P.; Evangelakis, G. A.
April 2010
Journal of Applied Physics;Apr2010, Vol. 107 Issue 8, p084313
Academic Journal
We report on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and physical vapor deposition experimental results concerning the development of glassy and nanocrystalline Cu–Zr thin films. MD has revealed that when Cu and Zr are deposited sequentially, a thin film overlayer is formed that consists of nanocrystalline a-Zr and t-Zr2Cu, while if Cu and Zr are simultaneously deposited, amorphous CuZr thin film emerges, due to the formation of icosahedral-like clusters that impede nucleation. Thin films grown by pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering techniques were analyzed by x-ray diffraction and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy and yielded unequivocal evidence that validates our MD predictions. These findings may indicate an alternative pathway for the growth of metallic nanocomposites or glassy films.


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