What is it about?

Materials and devices are often made of thin films of something deposited on something else. When these films are very thin, in some cases they are unstable, and they risk to break up/agglomerate in small particles. This phenomenon is called "solid state dewetting", and it has been widely studied by many researchers. In our work, we show that a possible mechanism leading to solid state dewetting is the accumulation of vacancies (that are defects, positions of the film where an atom is missing) at the film/substrate interface to form voids. these voids can merge forming larger voids that are the origin of holes in the film. These holes can lead or not to solid state dewetting, according to the film/substrate adhesion

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Why is it important?

We have shown the possible importance of interfacial vacancies (positions of the interface when an atom is missing) in the solid state dewetting (agglomeration to form islands). Interfacial vacancies merge forming voids that originate holes in thin films and thus can lead to their destabilization.


It was a pleasure to work with all the co-authors, we had very interesting, deep discussions on the problem of solid state dewetting. I hope that the research community working on materials will be stimulated by this article as it opens a new perspective on a mechanism known since long time.

Stefano Curiotto
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Hole opening from growing interfacial voids: A possible mechanism of solid state dewetting, Applied Physics Letters, February 2022, American Institute of Physics, DOI: 10.1063/5.0083139.
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