To: 11/01/2023 14:00
One of the primary challenges faced by the materials science community is to understand the correlation among nanoscale atomic arrangement, structure-forming mechanisms, and mesoscale morphology during non-equilibrium material synthesis. Addressing this challenge will herald a new epoch in which tailor-made materials and devices with unprecedented macroscopic behavior will be created by controlling mesoscale structure via nanoscale manipulation. The present talk demonstrates the implementation of the above-outlined concept of multiscale materials design during the vapor-based synthesis of thin noble-metal films (and nanostructures) on weakly-interacting substrates, including oxides and van der Waals crystals. Such film/substrate systems exhibit a pronounced and uncontrolled three-dimensional (3D) morphology, which is a major obstacle toward fabricating high-quality multifunctional metal contacts in a wide array of devices. Using growth of sliver (Ag) on silicon dioxide (SiO2) as a model system—along with a combination of in situ film growth monitoring, ex situ microstructure and chemical characterization, and modelling—it is shown that the tendency for 3D growth morphology can be effectively reversed, without compromising key physical properties of the film and the substrate, when miniscule amounts of minority gaseous [1,2] and metal species [3,4] (surfactants) are deployed with high temporal precision at the film growth front, such that atomic-scale processes that govern key film-formation stages are selectively targeted and affected. The talk concludes with a discussion with regards to the implications and possibilities that this strategy opens for tuning macroscopic performance of devices in the areas of energy saving, energy generation, and nanoelectronics.
 A. Jamnig, N. Pliatsikas, M. Konpan, J. Lu, T. Kehagias, A.N. Kotanidis, N. Kalfagiannis, D.V. Bellas, E. Lidorikis, J. Kovac, G. Abadias, I. Petrov, J.E. Greene, and K. Sarakinos, ACS Applied Nano Materials 3 (2020) 4728.
 N. Pliatsikas, A. Jamnig, M. Konpan, A. Delimitis, G. Abadias, and K. Sarakinos, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 38 (2020) 043406.
 A. Jamnig, N. Pliatsikas, G. Abadias, and K. Sarakinos, App. Surf. Sci. 538 (2021) 148056.
 A. Jamnig, N. Pliatsikas, G. Abadias, and K. Sarakinos, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A. 40 (2022) 033407.