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Thermal Stability of Thin Au Films Deposited on Salt Whiskers

Almog, Ehud and Derkach, Vadim and Sharma, Amit and Novick-Cohen, Amy and Greer, Julia R. and Rabkin, Eugen (2021) Thermal Stability of Thin Au Films Deposited on Salt Whiskers. Acta Materialia, 205 . Art. No. 116537. ISSN 1359-6454.

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Thin metal films deposited on patterned or rough substrates play an increasing role in microelectronics, sensing, catalysis, and other areas of nanotechnology. However, the thermal stability and solid state dewetting of thin metal films with complex three-dimensional architecture is still poorly understood. In this work we employed a model system of nanocrystalline Au thin films deposited on prismatic single crystalline KCl whiskers to study the solid state dewetting of thin films in a three-dimensional setting. The arrays of KCl whiskers were grown on porous substrates under well-defined humidity and temperature conditions. Single crystalline prismatic KCl whiskers with a very high aspect ratio, [001] axis and {100} side facets were obtained. The whiskers were coated with thin conformal Au films of 20-30 nm in thickness. The annealing of these core-shell whiskers at the temperature of 350oC resulted in solid state dewetting of the Au film, with the dewetting processes occurring much faster along the whisker edges than on the side facets. The orientation relationships between Au and KCl were determined by employing similarly prepared thin Au films deposited on the flat KCl (100) substrates. Inspired by our experimental results, we developed a numerical model describing the curvature-gradient driven and surface diffusion-controlled growth of a hole in the thin film deposited on a curved substrate. The model predicted the growth of anisotropic elliptical holes elongated along the whisker axis. We discuss the experimental results in terms of the proposed model, indicating the importance of the change in orientation relationship between the Au grains and KCl whisker along the whisker edges.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Derkach, Vadim0000-0003-0039-281X
Novick-Cohen, Amy0000-0001-6709-5030
Greer, Julia R.0000-0002-9675-1508
Rabkin, Eugen0000-0001-5545-1261
Additional Information:© 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Acta Materialia Inc. Received 22 July 2020, Revised 30 November 2020, Accepted 30 November 2020, Available online 4 December 2020. This work was supported by the US-Israel Bi-National Science Foundation (BSF), grant No 2014398 (EA, AS, JRG, and ER) and by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), grant No. 1200/16 (VD and AN-C). Helpful discussions with Dr. Leonid Klinger and Dr. Nimrod Gazit are heartily acknowledged. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Binational Science Foundation (USA-Israel)2014398
Israel Science Foundation1200/16
Subject Keywords:Gold thin films; morphology; theory and modeling; diffusion; solid state dewetting
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201204-110355287
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ehud Almog, Vadim Derkach, Amit Sharma, Amy Novick-Cohen, Julia R. Greer, Eugen Rabkin, Thermal stability of thin Au films deposited on salt whiskers, Acta Materialia, Volume 205, 2021, 116537, ISSN 1359-6454, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106907
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:05 Dec 2020 01:03
Last Modified:21 Dec 2020 17:33

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