Fractal structure formation from Ag nanoparticle films on insulating substrates. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two dimensional (2D) fractal structures were observed to form from fairly uniform Ag island films (equivalent mass thicknesses of 1.5 and 5 nm) on insulating silicon dioxide surfaces (thermally grown silicon oxide on Si or quartz) upon immersion in deionized water. This result is distinctly different from the previously observed three-dimensional (3D) growth of faceted Ag nanocrystals on conductive surfaces (ITO and graphite) as the result of an electrochemical Ostwald ripening process, which also occurs on native oxide covered silicon surfaces as reported here. The fractal structures formed by diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) of Ag species on the insulating surfaces. We present the experimental observation of this phenomenon and discuss some possible mechanisms for the DLA formation.

published proceedings

  • Langmuir

author list (cited authors)

  • Tang, J., Li, Z., Xia, Q., & Williams, R. S.

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

  • Tang, Jing||Li, Zhiyong||Xia, Qiangfei||Williams, R Stanley

publication date

  • July 2009