Stranski-Krastanov growth of Sn on a polycrystalline Al film surface initiated by the wetting of Al by Sn

C. Eisenmenger-Sittner, H. Bangert, H. Störi, J. Brenner, P. Barna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The deposition of tin (Sn) layers on polycrystalline aluminum surfaces exhibits pronounced islanding. The island formation slightly depends on the deposition rate, substrate temperature and on the surface topography of the Al underlayer. The present study clarifies this islanding mechanism by combined SEM, atomic force microscopy and scanning Auger microscopic (SAM) investigations. The detection of a continuous Sn coverage ("wetting layer") between the islands indicates a Stranski-Krastanov growth mode of the Sn islands despite the polycrystallinity of the underlying Al surface. The wetting of the Al surface by Sn was proved by in situ sputter cleaning of the sample surface in the SAM chamber. It was possible to completely remove the wetting layer by the sputter cleaning process. Surprisingly, the clean Al surface was covered again by Sn after several minutes as observed by a re-appearance of the Sn-AES signal. The Sn coverage of the surface developed at room temperature within some minutes aft er removing the wetting layer. Spatially resolved SAM measurements proved that the Sn emerged from the Sn islands (and not from the Al bulk by surface segregation) and spread over the Al surface uniformly. This process led to the complete wetting of the Al surface by Sn despite the thermodynamic immiscibility of this binary system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-168
Number of pages8
JournalSurface Science
Volume489
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 2001

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wetting
Wetting
Scanning
Cleaning
cleaning
scanning
Surface segregation
Tin
Surface topography
Deposition rates
Aluminum
Atomic force microscopy
Solubility
Thermodynamics
tin
topography
solubility
Temperature
Scanning electron microscopy
chambers

Keywords

  • Aluminum
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Auger electron spectroscopy
  • Polycrystalline thin films
  • Sputtering
  • Tin
  • Wetting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

Cite this

Stranski-Krastanov growth of Sn on a polycrystalline Al film surface initiated by the wetting of Al by Sn. / Eisenmenger-Sittner, C.; Bangert, H.; Störi, H.; Brenner, J.; Barna, P.

In: Surface Science, Vol. 489, No. 1-3, 20.08.2001, p. 161-168.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Eisenmenger-Sittner, C. ; Bangert, H. ; Störi, H. ; Brenner, J. ; Barna, P. / Stranski-Krastanov growth of Sn on a polycrystalline Al film surface initiated by the wetting of Al by Sn. In: Surface Science. 2001 ; Vol. 489, No. 1-3. pp. 161-168.
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