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“Magic” Nanostructures During the Early Stage of Thin Film Growth

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2011

M. Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
M. Yu. Efremov
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
F. Schiettekatte
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
E. A. Olson
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
L. H. Allen
Affiliation:
Department of Materials Science and Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
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Abstract

The behaviors of thin indium films in the early stage of growth are studied in situ by a novel ultra-sensitive thin film scanning calorimetry technique. The films consist of ensembles of self-assembled indium nanostructures whose melting temperatures are strongly influenced by size. We experimentally determine the relationship between a nanostructure's radius and its melting point by combining the measured caloric results with nanostructure size distributions obtained from TEM. The results show a linear melting point depression. Moreover, by looking at the fine structures of these caloric curves, we found the discrete nature of nanostructures during the early stage of thin film growth. The measured heat capacity values show several local maxima at certain temperatures. This suggests that preferred energy states exist among these supported nanostructures on amorphous surfaces. These local maxima are related to each other by increments of one monolayer of indium atoms. These findings could be extended from the magic numbers observed previously in cluster beams studies.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2001

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