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Catalytic growth of ZnO nanostructures by r.f. magnetron sputtering

María Arroyo-Hernández*, Raquel Álvaro, Sheila Serrano and José Luis Costa-Krämer

Author Affiliations

IMM-Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (CNM-CSIC), Isaac Newton 8, PTM, Tres Cantos, Madrid 28760, Spain

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:437  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-437

Published: 24 June 2011


The catalytic effect of gold seed particles deposited on a substrate prior to zinc oxide (ZnO) thin film growth by magnetron sputtering was investigated. For this purpose, selected ultra thin gold layers, with thicknesses close to the percolation threshold, are deposited by thermal evaporation in ultra high vacuum (UHV) conditions and subsequently annealed to form gold nanodroplets. The ZnO structures are subsequently deposited by r.f. magnetron sputtering in a UHV chamber, and possible morphological differences between the ZnO grown on top of the substrate and on the gold are investigated. The results indicate a moderate catalytic effect for a deposited gold underlayer of 4 nm, quite close to the gold thin film percolation thickness.