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Plasma-Induced Size Reduction in Gold Nanoclusters Embedded in a Dielectric Matrix

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Sandwich structures of silicon-nitride/gold/silicon-nitride with approximate thickness of 40 nm were fabricated by means of inductively-coupled remote plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and sputtering. In an intermediate step, nanostructure gold was subject to different surface plasma treatments, varying the plasma treatment time as well as the plasma atmosphere. The resulting structures were studied by high resolution transmission electron microscopy and Rutherford backscattering. As a consequence of plasma treatments, the gold nanoparticles mean size decreases, the particle areal distributions become narrower and the particle shapes evolve from island-like to near spherical symmetry. Oxygen plasma-etch of gold nanoparticles was observed.
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Keywords: NANOCLUSTERS; PECVD; Z-CONTRAST IMAGES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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