Alloy Design Criteria for Solid Metal Dealloying of Thin Films
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Liquid metal dealloying is a promising route for making metal nanocomposites with a wide range of microstructure morphologies. However, it is not well suited for synthesizing nanocomposites in thin-film form. We propose a new route to fabricating fully dense nanocomposite thin films by dealloying a binary parent alloy in a unary solid metal solvent. We fabricated and tested three thin-film diffusion couples to understand the alloy design criteria for synthesizing dealloyed thin films free of cracks and voids. We find that the best-quality dealloyed thin films may be obtained from alloys that do not undergo large volume changes upon dealloying and that exhibit minimal net vacancy flux during interdiffusion.
This work was supported by the NSF DMREF program under Grant #1623051. We thank J. K. Baldwin for preparation and deposition of the thin-film samples used in this study and A. Misra for helpful discussions. This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Use of the TAMU Materials Characterization Facility is acknowledged.
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