Pathway for a low-temperature deposition of alpha-Al2O3: A molecular dynamics study

J Houska, SURFACE & COATINGS TECHNOLOGY, 235, 333-341 (2013).

DOI: 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2013.07.062

Thin films of alpha-Al2O3 are of high interest because of their mechanical properties. Previously, the preparation of Al2O3 has been described in terms of extrinsic process parameters, such as total pressure, oxygen partial pressure or substrate bias potential. In this paper, the growth of Al2O3 is studied by atom-by-atom molecular dynamics simulations, focused on intrinsic process parameters such as ion energy, ion fraction in the particle flux, growth temperature and growth template. While the preparation of alpha-Al2O3 by currently available techniques requires temperatures of around 1000 degrees C (well above the typical softening temperature of tool steel substrates), the paper presents a narrow window of intrinsic process parameters which leads to an uninterrupted epitaxial growth or growth of previously nucleated alpha-Al2O3 at low temperatures. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Return to Publications page