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Spontaneous formation of nanometric multilayers of metal-carbon films by up-hill diffusion during growth

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6 Author(s)
Corbella, C. ; FEMAN, Departament de Física Aplicada i Òptica, Universitat de Barcelona, c/ Martí i Franquès 1, E-08028, Barcelona, Spain ; Echebarria, B. ; Ramirez-Piscina, L. ; Pascual, E.
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We report the spontaneous formation of multilayer structures with nanometric periodicity during Ti–C thin-film growth by reactive magnetron sputtering. Their characterization was performed by transmission electron microscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and secondary ion mass spectrometry. We discuss film structure and morphology as a function of metal content, and propose surface-directed spinodal decomposition as the mechanism responsible for the segregation of species in separated layers by up-hill diffusion.

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Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 21 )