Cu and Au nanoparticles were fabricated by plasma treatment on Cu and Au films at 653 K. The nanoparticles were formed by dewetting the metallic films using plasma. Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy investigations showed that the plasma-induced dewetting of the Cu and Au films proceeded through heterogeneous hole nucleation and growth along the grain boundaries to lower the surface energy. The amount of energy transferred to surface atoms by one Ar ion was calculated to be 16.1 eV, which was sufficient for displacing Cu and Au atoms. Compared to thermally activated dewetting, more uniform particles could be obtained by plasma-induced dewetting because a much larger number of holes with smaller sizes was generated. The plasma dewetting process is less sensitive to the oxidation of metallic films compared to the annealing process. As a result, Cu nanoparticles could be fabricated at 653 K, whereas the thermally activated dewetting was not possible.
- Plasma-induced dewetting