Effect of Deposition Rate on Structure and Surface Morphology of Thin Evaporated Al Films on Dielectrics and Semiconductors
Keywords:aluminum thin films, e-beam evaporation, deposition rate, grain size, surface roughness
Aluminum (Al) films with thickness of 100 nm were grown on unheated glass, silicon and mica substrates by electron beam evaporation. The deposition rates were adjusted in the range between 0.1 nm/s and 2 nm/s, the pressure in the vacuum chamber during deposition was lower than 1·10–3 Pa. The structure and surface morphology of the as-deposited Al films were studied using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). SEM imaging of the films showed that the mean grain size of thin Al films on all of the substrates increased from 20 nm – 30 nm to 50 nm – 70 nm with increase of the deposition rate. Quantitative AFM characterization showed that for all substrates the root mean square surface roughness increases monotonically with increasing the deposition rate from 0.1 nm/s to 2 nm/s. The observed effects of the deposition rate on the grain size and surface roughness are explained by the fundamental characteristics of the island growth mode, the influence of the background gases and the surface morphology of the bare substrates.
The copyrights for articles in this journal are retained by the author(s), with first publication rights granted to the journal. By virtue of their appearance in this open-access journal, articles are free to use with proper attribution in educational and other non-commercial settings.