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Low-energy Ion-assisted Control Of Interfacial Structures In Metallic Multilayers

J. Quan, Xiaowang Zhou, H. Wadley
Published 2007 · Chemistry

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A molecular dynamics method has been used to simulate the argon ion-assisted deposition of Cu/Co/Cu multilayers and to explore ion beam assistance strategies that can be used during or after the growth of each layer to control interfacial structures. A low-argon ion energy of 5–10 eV was found to minimize a combination of interfacial roughness and interlayer mixing (alloying) during the ion-assisted deposition of multilayers. However, complete flattening with simultaneous ion assistance could not be achieved without some mixing between the layers when a constant ion energy approach was used. It was found that multilayers with lower interfacial roughness and intermixing could be grown either by modulating the ion energy during the growth of each metal layer or by utilizing ion assistance only after the completion of each layers deposition. In these latter approaches, relatively high-energy ions could be used since the interface is buried and less susceptible to intermixing. The interlayer mixing dependence upon the thickness of the over layer has been determined as a function of ion energy.
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