Uniformly distributed indium hillocks are grown on silicon substrates by dc magnetron sputtering. The morphologies and the microstructures have been investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). From the TEM and SEM images, we find that, at the earlier stage, the grain coalescent process dominates. This coalescent process induces a larger compressive stress. We believe that the drive force for hillock growth comes from this compressive stress. Under this compressive stress, the grain locating in the middle of several grains are extruded from these grains, and then a hillock forms with the increasing deposition time. For low melting point and high diffusion coefficient metal, such as bismuth and indium, this spontaneous-hillock growth mechanism can be used to fabricate well aligned nanostructures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)