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ZhETF, Vol. 134, No. 6, p. 1181 (December 2008)
(English translation - JETP, Vol. 107, No. 6, p. 1009, December 2008 available online at )

Bhattacharyya S.R., Chini T.K., Datta D., Hippler R., Shyjumon I., Smirnov B.M.

Received: March 26, 2008

PACS: 36.40.-c, 36.40.Sx, 61.43.Hv, 68.35.B-, 68.37.Hk

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We analyze scanning electron microscopy measurements for structures formed in deposition of solid silver clusters onto a silicon(100) substrate and consider theoretical models of cluster evolution onto a surface as a result of diffusion and formation of aggregates of merged clusters. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) attached with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX) measurements of the formed films are presented. Solid silver clusters are produced by a DC magnetron sputtering source with a quadrupole filter for selection of cluster sizes (4.1 nm and 5.6 nm or 1900 and 5000 atoms per cluster in this experiment); the energy of cluster deposition is 0.7 eV/atom. Rapid thermal annealing of the grown films allows analyzing their behavior at high temperatures. The results exhibit formation of cluster aggregates via the process of diffusion of deposited solid clusters along the surface; an aggregate consists of up to hundred individual clusters. This process is essentially described by the DLA (diffusion-limited aggregation) model, and thus a grown porous film consists of cluster aggregates joined by bridges. Subsequent annealing of this film leads to its melting at temperatures lower than the melting point of bulk silver. The analysis of evaporation of this film at higher temperatures gives the binding energy in bulk silver \varepsilon_0=(2.74 \pm 0.03) eV/atom.

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