The role of coalescence and ballistic growth on in-situ electrical conduction of cluster-assembled nanostructured Sn films


Martinez Medina J.E., Polesel-Maris J., Philippe A.M., Grysan P., Bousri N., Girod S., Barborini E.


Applied Surface Science, vol. 664, art. no. 160268, 2024


The electrical conduction of nanostructured Sn films assembled via Supersonic Cluster Beam Deposition is studied in-situ during film growth. The kinetic energy of Sn nanoparticles, in combination with low melting point of Sn, promotes coalescence phenomena, enabling the investigation of their impact on film morphology and on percolation threshold. A percolation threshold occurring at thicknesses much larger than the dimensions of Sn nanoparticles suggests that coalescence leads to the growth of disconnected, island-like structures. The deposition rate is found to influence coalescence dynamics during the early stages of film growth, allowing for the tuning of film microstructure from a more compact, island-like morphology to a more porous structure. The percolation threshold shifts accordingly from 24 nm to 3 nm film thickness. Upon completion of the percolation phase, film resistivity settles at values 2–3 orders of magnitude larger than that of bulk Sn, attributed to the nanogranular nature of cluster-assembled films. During the “3D conduction” phase, resistivity exhibits an increasing trend with thickness following a power law with an exponent value of 0.76–0.78. This behavior is attributed to the decrease in the density of interconnections between particles in the topmost layer during film growth, consistent with expectations in ballistic growth processes.



Partager cette page :