Nucleation, growth, and aggregation of gold on polyimide surfaces

Y. Travaly, L. Zhang, Y. Zhao, R. Pfeffer, K. Uhrich, F. Cosandey, E. Garfunkel, T. E. Madey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of ultrathin gold films on polyimide (PI) surfaces and the stability of the films upon thermal annealing have been studied using a combination of various techniques. With scanning electron microscopy (SEM) we observe that, at room temperature, the Au film initially grows by nucleation of compact Au islands. With increasing metal coverage, the clusters partially agglomerate to produce a wormlike structure. Finally, percolation, hole-filling, and continuous thin-film growth are observed. To evaluate the thermal stability of the Au/PI system, annealing at various temperatures was performed on films that displayed the wormlike structure. SEM results indicate strong temperature-dependent changes in film morphology. Finally, from our SEM data we determine contact angles, allowing us to estimate interfacial and adhesion energies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3673-3683
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Materials Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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