Characterization and modification of obliquely deposited nanostructures

  • Author / Creator
    Krause, Kathleen
  • The glancing angle deposition (GLAD) technique is now used by over one hundred research groups, each requiring a fundamental understanding of and new techniques for modulating the properties of GLAD in order to optimize their results. In this thesis, the structural characteristics of nanostructured columnar films were therefore investigated and quantified using gas adsorption porosimetry, focused ion beam tomography, optical methods, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image analysis. Questions such as ``What is their surface area?'', ``How porous are they?'', ``How do the films evolve as they grow?'', and ``Can the structural characteristics be manipulated?'' were answered. Surface areas, determined from krypton gas adsorption, were found to be high, making GLAD promising for applications requiring large and rough surface interfaces. Specifically, peak specific surface areas of 700 +/- 150 m^2g^{-1}, 325 +/- 40 m^2g^{-1}, 50 +/- 6 m^2g^{-1} were measured for silica (SiO_2), titania (TiO_2) and indium tin oxide (ITO), respectively. Broad pore distributions, with peaks in the low mesoporous regime of 2 nm to 5 nm, were also determined. The internal surface area may also be up to three times as high as that of the externally exposed surface. As well, despite the fact that GLAD column broaden as they grow, the surface area increases linearly with film thickness. Focused ion beam milling, with concurrent SEM imaging, was then employed to investigate and reconstruct the three-dimensional structure of GLAD films in the tens of nanometers regime not measurable by krypton gas adsorption porosimetry. The measured growth scaling trends agreed with previous findings, but were determined using only one sample, instead of multiple samples of increasing thickness. Mean column diameters, center-to-center spacings, void spacings, and column densities were found to scale with thickness as w = (9.4 +/- 3.0) t^{0.35 +/- 0.09} nm, c = (24.8 +/- 5.2) t^{0.31 +/- 0.08} nm, v = (15.2 +/- 3.8) t^{0.25 +/- 0.06} nm, and d = (3400 +/- 2500) t^{-0.65 +/- 0.15} columns um^{-2}, respectively. Finally, spatially graded nanostructures were demonstrated by extending the GLAD technique to include macroscopic shadowing. Optically transparent, graded thickness and pitch helical films were fabricated with polarization selectivity over a spatial range of 30 mm, concurrent with 70 nm spectral tunability. These structures will be useful for tunable frequency photonic devices.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Brett, Michael (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Sit, Jeremy (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Nychka, John (Chemical and Materials Engineering)
    • McMullin, James (Electrical and Computer Engineering)
    • Thomson, Douglas (Electrical and Computer Engineering)