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Portland, OR, United States

Davis L.J.,University of Oregon | Boggess M.,University of Oregon | Kodpuak E.,Portland Community College Sylvania | Deutsch M.,University of Oregon
Journal of Applied Physics | Year: 2012

We report on a model for the deposition of three dimensional, aggregated nanocrystalline silver films, and an efficient numerical simulation method developed for visualizing such structures. We compare our results to a model system comprising chemically deposited silver films with morphologies ranging from dilute, uniform distributions of nanoparticles to highly porous aggregated networks. Disordered silver films grown in solution on silica substrates are characterized using digital image analysis of high resolution scanning electron micrographs. While the latter technique provides little volume information, plane-projected (two dimensional) island structure and surface coverage may be reliably determined. Three parameters governing film growth are evaluated using these data and used as inputs for the deposition model, greatly reducing computing requirements while still providing direct access to the complete (bulk) structure of the films throughout the growth process. We also show how valuable three dimensional characteristics of the deposited materials can be extracted using the simulated structures. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

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