Processes involved in the formation of silver clusters on silicon surface
We analyze scanning electron microscopy measurements for structures formed in the deposition of solid silver clusters onto a silicon(100) substrate and consider theoretical models of cluster evolution onto a surface as a result of diffusion and formation of aggregates of merged clusters. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) data are presented in addition to energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) measurements of the these films. Solid silver clusters are produced by a DC magnetron sputtering source with a quadrupole filter for selection of cluster sizes (4.1 and 5.6 nm or 1900 and 5000 atoms per cluster in this experiment); the energy of cluster deposition is 0.7 eV/atom. Rapid thermal annealing of the grown films allows analysis of their behavior at high temperatures. The results exhibit formation of cluster aggregates via the diffusion of deposited solid clusters along the surface; an aggregate consists of up to hundreds of individual clusters. This process is essentially described by the diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) model, and thus a grown porous film consists of cluster aggregates joined by bridges. Subsequent annealing of this film leads to its melting at temperatures lower than to the melting point of bulk silver. Analysis of evaporation of this film at higher temperatures gives a binding energy in bulk silver of ɛ0= (2.74 ± 0.03) eV/atom.
PACS numbers36.40.-c 36.40.Sx 61.43.Hv 68.37.Hk
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