The effect of nanosecond laser irradiations on 5 nm thick sputter-deposited Au and Ag films on Indium-Tin-Oxide surface is investigated by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). After 500, 750, and 1000 mJ/cm2 fluence irradiations, the breakup of the Au and Ag films into nanoscale islands is observed as a consequence of fast melting and solidification processes. The mean nanoparticles size and surface density are quantified, as a function of the laser fluence, by the AFM and SEM analyses. In particular, the comparison between the Au and Ag islands reveals the formation of larger islands in the case of Ag for each fixed fluence. The mechanism of the nanoscale islands formation is discussed, both for Au and Ag, in terms of the starting film thickness fluctuations (influencing the local threshold for melting), dewetting phenomenon and the Rayleigh criterion.
American Scientific Publishers
1 Jul 2012
Volume: 4 Issue: 7 Pages: 708-718
Science of Advanced Materials