Applied Physics A

, Volume 87, Issue 2, pp 187–192 | Cite as

Ultra-smooth metal surfaces generated by pressure-induced surface deformation of thin metal films

  • V.J. Logeeswaran
  • M.-L. Chan
  • Y. Bayam
  • M. Saif Islam
  • D.A. Horsley
  • X. Li
  • W. Wu
  • S.Y. Wang
  • R.S. Williams
Article

Abstract

We present a mechanical pressing technique for generating ultra-smooth surfaces on thin metal films by flattening the bumps, asperities, rough grains and spikes of a freshly vacuum deposited metal film. The method was implemented by varying the applied pressure from 100 MPa to 600 MPa on an e-beam evaporated silver film of thickness 1000 Å deposited on double-polished (100)-oriented silicon surfaces, resulting in a varying degree of film smoothness. The surface morphology of the thin film was studied using atomic force microscopy. Notably, at a pressure of ∼600 MPa an initial silver surface with 13-nm RMS roughness was plastically deformed and transformed to an ultra-flat plane with better than 0.1 nm RMS. Our demonstration with the e-beam evaporated silver thin film exhibits the potential for applications in decreasing the scattering-induced losses in optical metamaterials, plasmonic nanodevices and electrical shorts in molecular-scale electronic devices.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • V.J. Logeeswaran
    • 1
  • M.-L. Chan
    • 2
  • Y. Bayam
    • 1
  • M. Saif Islam
    • 1
  • D.A. Horsley
    • 2
  • X. Li
    • 3
  • W. Wu
    • 3
  • S.Y. Wang
    • 3
  • R.S. Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.Integrated Nanodevices and System Research, Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Quantum Science ResearchHewlett-Packard LaboratoriesPalo AltoUSA

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