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Advanced Thin Film Coatings by Surfactant Sputtering

10.02.2009
Surfactant Sputtering constitutes a novel technology in the field of advanced thin films. Surfactant Sputtering is applicable for nanostructuring of thin films as well as for smoothing surfaces down to residual rms-roughness less than 0.1 nm.

Surfactant sputtering utilizes the steady state coverage of a substrate surface with foreign or self atoms simultaneously during sputter erosion by combined ion irradiation and atom deposition. These surfactant atoms (surface active agents) strongly modify the substrate sputter yield on atomic to macroscopic length scales. Depending on the surfactant–substrate combination, the novel technique allows enhanced smoothing of surfaces, the generation of novel surface patterns and nanostructures and the controlled shaping of surfaces on the nanometer scale.

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