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The growth of a room-temperature sputter-deposited thin Au film on two soft polymeric substrates, polystyrene (PS) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), from nucleation to formation of a continuous film is investigated by means of atomic force microscopy. In particular, we studied the surface morphology evolution of the film as a function of the deposition time observing an initial Au three-dimensional island-type growth. Then the Au film morphology evolves, with increasing deposition time, from hemispherical islands to partially coalesced worm-like island structures, to percolation, and finally to a continuous and rough film. The overall Au morphology evolution is discussed in the framework of the interrupted coalescence model, allowing us to evaluate the island critical radius for the partial coalescence R c=8.7±0.9 nm for Au on PS and R c=7.6±0.8 nm for Au on PMMA …
Publication date: 
1 Jun 2011

F Ruffino, V Torrisi, G Marletta, MG Grimaldi

Biblio References: 
Volume: 103 Pages: 939-949
Applied Physics A