Prof. Asunción Fernández
In residence at
Dr Anne-Lise Thomann
Magnetron sputtering deposition with He as process gas: understanding the formation of nanostructured / nano-porous thin films
The development of nanostructured thin films, manufactured by "magnetron sputtering (MS)", is a topic of mutual interest for the group NanoMatMicro at the Materials Science Institute in Seville (ICMS-CSIC) and the group GREMI” (UMR 7344 CNRS/University of Orleans). The objective may be to stabilize high density gases (Helium, He) in a solid nano-porous matrix or, on the contrary, to further the release of the He gas in order to synthesize highly porous films. Both kinds of materials could exhibit promising properties. The concept of “solid-gas” nanocomposite materials has been proposed at the laboratory in Seville with potential applications as: (i) solid He targets for nuclear reactions; (ii) materials with controlled refractive index; and (iii) catalytic coatings and electrodes. Nano-porous aluminum thin films are developed to investigate their potential application for production of hydrogen by hydrothermal route. They will advantageously replace aluminum nanoparticles. The growing mechanism of nanoporous layers by MS in He plasmas, as well as the formation and stabilization (or not) of He nanobubbles, still need to be elucidated. During the stay of the visiting researcher experiments are proposed to grow amorphous silicon and nano-porous Al films under different conditions in the MS deposition chambers at the GREMI laboratory in Orleans, where dedicated instruments are available for plasma diagnostic during deposition. These data, together with microstructural analysis by electron microscopies at the ICMS in Seville and Ion Beam Analysis and positron annihilation at the CEMHTI in Orleans, are aimed to propose a mechanism for the films’ singular microstructure formation. Molecular dynamic simulations will be also of high interest in this joint project. The stay of the visitor will be of great value to promote long lasting collaboration among the labs in Seville and Orleans both on the fundamental study of this kind of materials and the potential applications.