Catalytic growth of ZnO nanostructures by r.f. magnetron sputtering
IMM-Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid (CNM-CSIC), Isaac Newton 8, PTM, Tres Cantos, Madrid 28760, Spain
Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:437 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-437Published: 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.