Controllable growth of aluminum nanorods using physical vapor deposition
1 Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
2 Mechanical Engineering, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA
Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:400 doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-400Published: 18 August 2014
This letter proposes and experimentally demonstrates that oxygen, through action as a surfactant, enables the growth of aluminum nanorods using physical vapor deposition. Based on the mechanism through which oxygen acts, the authors show that the diameter of aluminum nanorods can be controlled from 50 to 500 nm by varying the amount of oxygen present, through modulating the vacuum level, and by varying the substrate temperature. When grown under medium vacuum, the nanorods are in the form of an aluminum metal - aluminum oxide core-shell. The thickness of the oxide shell is ~2 nm as grown and is stable when maintained in ambient for 30 days or annealed in air at 475 K for 1 day. As annealing temperature is increased, the nanorod morphology remains stable while the ratio of oxide shell to metallic core increases, resulting in a fully aluminum oxide nanorod at 1,475 K.