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Influence of Processing Parameters on Microstructure of Pulsed Laser Deposited Au Thin Films

  • Andreas Kulovits (a1), John Leonard (a2) and Jorg Wiezorek (a3)

Abstract

It has long been recognized that thin film polycrystalline microstructures are determined by the thermodynamics and kinetics associated with physical vapor deposition, but it is quite process dependent and not easily quantified. We have examined the microstructure in polycrystalline Au films obtained by pulse laser deposition (PLD) under various conditions and interpret the results in terms of three fundamental parameters common to all physical vapor deposition: Flux kinetic energy, substrate temperature, and deposition rate. With this model, it is predicted that nanocrystalline films are formed in the limits of low temperature, flux, and high deposition rate. The deposited films are analyzed with X-ray diffraction and SEM to determine texture and grain morphology, which are found to fit well within the process maps.

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