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Rapid Deformation of Thin Gold Layers in Polymer Matrices Studied by X-Ray Reflectivity



K Shin, H Wang, Sushil K. Satija, Charles C. Han, Daniel Josell, John E. Bonevich


We have used X-ray reflectivity to measure the morphological profiles of thin Au layers of three different average thicknesses sandwiched between two polystyrene layers with different molecular weights, Mw = 52.3k and Mw - 168.5k. The results showed that the equilibrium structures of the samples with the thinnest layers (dAu < 4 nm), where discontinuous islands are expected, were very close to those of the non-annealed samples. However, the morphologies of the sample with dAu > 4 nm, where a continuous layer structure was formed, were influenced by annealing. In a very short period of annealing compared to the reptation times of the polymer matrices, rapid deformation of the Au layer did occur. Comparison of the transmission electron micrographs from unannealed and annealed samples showed that annealing promotes spherical shapes for the Au particles and breakup of an elongated, randomly connected structure visible prior to annealing. The fractional area covered with Au obtained from TEM images are in good agreement with X-ray diffraction results. These results were interpreted in terms of capillarity induced spheroidization of the ultrathin Au layers.
Journal of Applied Physics
No. 3


morphologies, rapid deformation, TEM, x-ray reflectivity


Shin, K. , Wang, H. , Satija, S. , Han, C. , Josell, D. and Bonevich, J. (2003), Rapid Deformation of Thin Gold Layers in Polymer Matrices Studied by X-Ray Reflectivity, Journal of Applied Physics, [online], (Accessed May 29, 2024)


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Created July 31, 2003, Updated October 12, 2021