Molecular dynamics simulation of gold cluster growth during sputter deposition

JW Abraham and T Strunskus and F Faupel and M Bonitz, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 119, 185301 (2016).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4948375

We present a molecular dynamics simulation scheme that we apply to study the time evolution of the self-organized growth process of metal cluster assemblies formed by sputter-deposited gold atoms on a planar surface. The simulation model incorporates the characteristics of the plasma- assisted deposition process and allows for an investigation over a wide range of deposition parameters. It is used to obtain data for the cluster properties which can directly be compared with recently published experimental data for gold on polystyrene M. Schwartzkopf et al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7, 13547 (2015). While good agreement is found between the two, the simulations additionally provide valuable time-dependent real-space data of the surface morphology, some of whose details are hidden in the reciprocal-space scattering images that were used for the experimental analysis. Published by AIP Publishing.

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