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Competing processes during the production of metal nanoparticles by pulsed laser deposition

AuthorsGonzalo de los Reyes, José; Perea, Ángel ; Babonneau, D.; Afonso, Carmen N. ; Beer, N.; Barnes, J. P.; Petford Long, A.K.; Hole, D. E.; Townsend, Paul D.
Issue Date2005
PublisherAmerican Physical Society
CitationPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics 71(12):125420 (2005)
AbstractIn this work we report on the competition between growth, implantation, and sputtering effects during the production of metal nanoparticles (NPs) by pulsed laser deposition. The production sequence involves first the deposition of an amorphous (a-)Al2O3 layer onto which gold NPs are produced. They are subsequently covered by a-Al2O3 and this sequence is repeated five times. The resulting nanocomposite films have metal contents per layer in a broad range: 1-9×1015 at cm -2. The results clearly show the formation of two NP layers per layer of gold deposited, the deepest one consisting of NPs produced by metal implanted into the a-Al2O3 layer, which is acting as a substrate, and the other one consisting of NPs grown on the a-Al 2O3 surface. The high kinetic energy of a significant fraction of the Au species present in the plasma and the high fluxes (10 16-1018 at cm-2 s-1) at the substrate plays an essential role in the nucleation and growth of the NPs. The competition between surface growth and sputtering at high fluence induces a self-regulation of the NP dimensions that narrows the size distributions. ©2005 The American Physical Society.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.71.125420
issn: 1098-0121
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