In-depth evolution of chemical states and sub-10-nm-resolution crystal orientation mapping of nanograins in Ti(5 nm)/Au(20 nm)/Cr(3 nm) tri-layer thin films

Xiaoli Zhu*, Matteo Todeschini, Alice Bastos da Silva Fanta, Lintao Liu, Flemming Jensen, Jörg Hübner, Henri Jansen, Anpan Han, Peixiong Shi, Anjie Ming, Changqing Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The applications of Au thin films and their adhesion layers often suffer from a lack of sufficient information about the chemical states of adhesion layers and about the high-lateral-resolution crystallographic morphology of Au nanograins. Here, we demonstrate the in-depth evolution of the chemical states of adhesive layers at the interfaces and the crystal orientation mapping of gold nanograins with a lateral resolution of less than 10 nm in a Ti/Au/Cr tri-layer thin film system. Using transmission electron microscopy, the variation in the interdiffusion at Cr/Au and Ti/Au interfaces was confirmed. From X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) depth profiling, the chemical states of Cr, Au and Ti were characterized layer by layer, suggesting the insufficient oxidation of the adhesive layers. At the interfaces the Au 4f peaks shift to higher binding energies and this behavior can be described by a proposed model based on electron reorganization and substrate-induced final-state neutralization in small Au clusters supported by the partially oxidized Ti layer. Utilizing transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD) in a scanning electron microscope, the crystal orientation of Au nanograins between two adhesion layers was nondestructively characterized with sub-10 nm spatial resolution. The results provide nanoscale insights into the Ti/Au/Cr thin film system and contribute to our understanding of its behavior in nano-optic and nano-electronic devices.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalApplied Surface Science
    Volume453
    Pages (from-to)365-372
    ISSN0169-4332
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Keywords

    • Tri-layer thin film
    • XPS depth profiling
    • Partial oxidation of adhesion layers
    • Crystal orientation mapping
    • Transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD)

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'In-depth evolution of chemical states and sub-10-nm-resolution crystal orientation mapping of nanograins in Ti(5 nm)/Au(20 nm)/Cr(3 nm) tri-layer thin films'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this