Oxidation of Au/Ag films by oxygen plasma: phase separation and generation of nanoporosity
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The oxidation of Au/Ag alloy thin films using radio-frequency oxygen plasma was studied in this work. It was demonstrated that there is a phase separation occurring between silver and gold. In addition, it was shown that the preferential oxidation of silver resulted in a solid-state diffusion of silver toward the surface where it oxidized and formed nanoporous microspheres. The gold phase remaining in the film exhibited nanoporosity due to the injected vacancies at the metal/silver oxide interface. Based on the scanning transmission electron microscopy analysis coupled with energy dispersive X-ray mapping a mechanism was proposed based on solid-state diffusion and the Kirkendall effect to explain the different steps occurring during the oxidation process.
author list (cited authors)
El Mel, A., Mansour, S. A., Pasha, M., Zekri, A., Ponraj, J., Shetty, A., & Haik, Y.