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Spontaneous formation of highly periodic nano-ripples in inclined deposition of Mo/Si multilayers

: Voronov, Dmitriy; Gawlitza, Peter; Braun, Stefan; Padmore, Howard


Journal of applied physics 122 (2017), Nr.11, Art. 115303, 13 S.
ISSN: 0021-8979
ISSN: 1089-7550
Fraunhofer IWS ()
transition; sputter deposition; nanorod; surface; physical vapor deposition

We investigated the growth of Mo/Si multilayers (ML) deposited using a highly collimated flux of ion-beam sputtered particles for a wide range of deposition angles. Growth of the multilayers at normal and moderately inclined deposition is dominated by surface relaxation resulting in smooth interfaces of the multilayer stack. The first signs of interface roughening are observed at a deposition angle of 45° with respect to the normal to the substrate surface. At an oblique angle of 55°, the ML interfaces undergo fast progressive roughening from the substrate to the top of the ML stack, leading to the formation of ripples which are perpendicular to the deposition flux direction. Deposition of the multilayer at an angle of 65° results in a highly periodic lateral ripple structure with a period of 10 nm. The mature ripple pattern forms during growth of only the first few layers and then stabilizes. The ripples propagate through the whole ML stack with almost no changes in frequency and amplitude, resulting in a highly periodic bulk array composed of silicon and molybdenum nano-rods closely packed in a 6-fold symmetric lattice. We present a simple model for the ripple growth, which gives results that are in good agreement with experimental data.