Self-assembling and self-limiting monolayer deposition
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- Foest, R., Schmidt, M. & Gargouri, H. Eur. Phys. J. D (2014) 68: 23. doi:10.1140/epjd/e2013-40420-y
Effects of spatial ordering of molecules on surfaces are commonly utilized to deposit ultra-thin films with a thickness of a few nm. In this review paper, several methods are discussed, that are distinguished from other thin film deposition processes by exactly these effects that lead to self-assembling and self-limiting layer growth and eventually to coatings with unique and fascinating properties and applications in micro-electronics, optics, chemistry, or biology. Traditional methods for the formation of self-assembled films of ordered organic molecules, such as the Langmuir-Blodgett technique along with thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) of inorganic molecules are evaluated. The overview is complemented by more recent developments for the deposition of organic or hybrid films by molecular layer deposition. Particular attention is given to plasma assisted techniques, either as a preparative, supplementary step or as inherent part of the deposition as in plasma enhanced ALD or plasma assisted, repeated grafting deposition. The different methods are compared and their film formation mechanisms along with their advantages are presented from the perspective of a plasma scientist. The paper contains lists of established film compounds and a collection of the relevant literature is provided for further reading.