Nanostructured Ag thin films deposited by pulsed electron ablation

Alessandro Gambardella, Matteo Berni, Gabriela Graziani, A. Kovtun, A. Liscio, Alessandro Russo, Andrea Visani, Michele Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Nanostructured thin films of silver (Ag) are receiving attention in many production fields requiring adaptation to different substrate materials and fine control over surface texture, such as hi-tech industry and biomedicine. Here we report the deposition at room temperature of Ag thin films by pulsed electron ablation, the films thickness ranging from tens to hundreds of nanometers. Films micro- and nanostructure were investigated by means of AFM, STM and XRD, and chemical composition assessed by XPS. The data were elaborated and discussed in the context of depositions under non-local growth effects, and compared with pulsed electron ablation of different target materials. Our films resulted nanometrically smooth and homogeneous, with high degree of purity and characterized by a narrow distribution of grains of nanometric size at all the thicknesses considered. We suggest that a balance between the efficiency of the ablation process and the unique properties of Ag as a metal accounts for the overall reduction of the system size, and is at the origin of the observed nanostructuration. Our results are interesting in the perspective of metals ablation and provide an optimal platform for the study of functional surfaces with high surface-to-volume ratio.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-925
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Surface Science
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019


  • Fractal analysis
  • Nanostructured coatings
  • Plasma-assisted techniques
  • Pulsed electron deposition
  • Silver
  • Thin films


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