Diffusion induced atomic islands on the surface of Ni/Cu nanolayers

Viktor Takáts, Attila Csik, József Hakl, Kálmán Vad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Surface islands formed by grain-boundary diffusion has been studied in Ni/Cu nanolayers by in-situ low energy ion scattering spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, scanning probe microscopy and ex-situ depth profiling based on ion sputtering. In this paper a new experimental approach of measurement of grain-boundary diffusion coefficients is presented. Appearing time of copper atoms diffused through a few nanometer thick nickel layer has been detected by low energy ion scattering spectroscopy with high sensitivity. The grain-boundary diffusion coefficient can be directly calculated from this appearing time without using segregation factors in calculations. The temperature range of 423–463 K insures the pure C-type diffusion kinetic regime. The most important result is that surface coverage of Ni layer by Cu atoms reaches a maximum during annealing and stays constant if the annealing procedure is continued. Scanning probe microscopy measurements show a Volmer-Weber type layer growth of Cu layer on the Ni surface in the form of Cu atomic islands. Depth distribution of Cu in Ni layer has been determined by depth profile analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2018


  • Grain-boundary diffusion
  • Low energy ion spectroscopy
  • Multilayers
  • Nanocrystalline film
  • NiCu

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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