• Bhuvana

      Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Optimizing growth conditions for electroless deposition of Au films on Si(111) substrates

      Bhuvana G U Kulkarni

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      Electroless deposition of Au films on Si(111) substrates from fluorinated-aurate plating solutions has been carried out at varying concentrations, deposition durations as well as bath temperatures, and the resulting films were characterized by X-ray diffraction, optical profilometry, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Depositions carried out with dilute plating solutions (< 0.1 mM) at 28°C for 30 min produce epitaxial films exhibiting a prominent Au(111) peak in the diffraction patterns, while higher concentrations or temperatures, or longer durations yield polycrystalline films. In both epitaxial and polycrystalline growth regimes, the film thickness increases linearly with time, however, in the latter case, at a rate an order of magnitude higher. Interestingly, the surface roughness measured using atomic force microscopy shows a similar trend. On subjecting to annealing at 250°C, the roughness of the film decreases gradually. Addition of poly (vinylpyrrolidone) to the plating solution is shown to produce a X-ray amorphous film with nanoparticulates capped with the polymer as evidenced by the core-level photoelectron spectrum. Nanoindentation using AFM has shown the hardness of the films to be much higher (∼ 2.19 GPa) than the bulk value.

    • Polystyrene as a zwitter resist in electron beam lithography based electroless patterning of gold

      T Bhuvana G U Kulkarni

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      The resist action of polystyrene (𝑀w, 2,600,000) towards electroless deposition of gold on Si(100) surface following cross-linking by exposing to a 10 kV electron beam, has been investigated employing a scanning electron microscope equipped with electron beam lithography tool. With a low dose of electrons (21 𝜇C/cm2), the exposed regions inhibited the metal deposition from the plating solution due to cross-linking—typical of the negative resist behaviour of polystyrene, with metal depositing only on the developed Si surface. Upon increased electron dosage (160 𝜇C/cm2), however, Au deposition took place even in the exposed regions of the resist, thus turning it into a positive resist. Raman measurement revealed amorphous carbon present in the exposed region that promotes metal deposition. Further increase in dosage led successively to negative (220 𝜇C/cm2) and positive (13,500 𝜇C/cm2) resist states. The zwitter action of polystyrene resist has been exploited to create line gratings with pitch as low as 200 nm and gap electrodes down to 80 nm.

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