TA Success Stories: Microstructure – Optical property correlation in ultrathin ultrasmooth gold films with different adhesion layers (MOPCUF), from the Technical University of Denmark to NORTEM
This week, we present the “MOPCUF” project from the National Centre for Nano Fabrication and Characterization at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU, Denmark) which was granted to access the Norwegian Centre for Transmission Electron Microscopy (NORTEM, Norway) one of ESTEEM3 TA providers.
The “MOPCUF” project, carried out by Dr. Mario Heinig and Dr. Shima Kadkhodazadeh from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU, Denmark) was granted access to facilities and expertise from Prof. Antonius T.J. Helvoort and Dr. Dipanwita Chatterjee from the Department of Physics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Norway).
Ultrathin gold (Au) films on semiconductor substrates are an essential building block for plasmonic and nano-electronic devices. The performance of the thin film application is linked to interactions within the components. Here, we analyze a variety of different metallic and organic adhesion promoters and their effects on the thin film microstructure. The fine poly crystalline Au films require a resolution on the nm scale, where we apply transmission Kikuchi diffraction (TKD) in the SEM to gain a first microstructural analysis.
Thanks to ESTEEM3 transnational access, we were able to conduct scanning precession electron diffraction (SPED) experiments on the same samples to complement microstructural characterization and give a snapshot of the technological developments of both high-resolution analysis techniques.
The main results of the project
The results highlight the importance of adhesion layer selection for thin film fabrication and allows to successfully exploit microstructural data at the resolution limit of TKD and SPED. Finally, the publication illustrates the ability to characterize nanostructured thin films by TKD in the SEM down to 5nm, which agrees with the SPED results in the TEM.
Dr. Mario Heinig and Dr. Shima Kadkhodazadeh are publishing a reviewed article in the renowned journal Materials Characterization.
Moreover, the MOPCUF project triggered a closer collaboration between the research groups with an ongoing expertise exchange and future aspiration to conduct further analyses on microstructural characterization.
Interested in Transnational Access to the leading European state-of-the-art Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)? Find out more about the procedure here!