The effect of different thickness alumina capping layers on the final morphology of dewet thin Ni films
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Nanoparticles on a substrate have numerous applications in nanotechnology, from enhancements to solar cell efficiency to improvements in carbon nanotube growth. Producing nanoparticles in a cost effective fashion with control over size and spacing is desired, but difficult to do. This work presents a scalable method for altering the radius and pitch distributions of nickel nanoparticles. The introduction of alumina capping layers to thin nickel films during a pulsed laser-induced dewetting process has yielded reductions in the mean and standard deviation of radii and pitch for dewet nanoparticles with no noticeable difference in final morphology with increased capping layer thickness. The differences in carbon nanotube mats grown, on the uncapped sample and one of the capped samples, is also presented here, with a more dense mat being present for the capped case.
The material fabrication portion of this research was conducted at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. We also acknowledge the support from the Microscopy Core Facility at Utah State University for the SEM results, which was acquired through support of the National Science Foundation (CMMI 1337932). PDR acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation (CBET 1603780—Ronald Joslin program manager) for his contribution to this work.
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