Special Issue "Metallic Films: From Nanofabrication and Nanostructuration to Characterizations and Applications"

A special issue of Metals (ISSN 2075-4701).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Francesco Ruffino

Departmento of Physics and Astronomy-University of Catania, via S. Sofia 64, 95124 Catania, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nanofabrication techniques; scanning probe microscopies; mesoscopic physics; Ion and laser beam modification of materials; metal based nanomaterials and thin films; Metal-polymer nanocomposites; electrical and optical properties of nanomaterials; nanostructured metal-based devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Metallic films are key components in many of modern technologies, from integrated circuits to sensors. In particular, nanostructured metal (Au, Ag, Pd, Pt, Ni, Co, Fe, etc.) films find applications in the production of innovative devices and coatings. These technologies, however, require exploitation of the electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical, and thermal properties unique to metallic materials. Thus, it is of paramount importance to control the films of nanoscale structures, as a result of the fabrication or post-fabrication processes, to tailor their properties.

When metallic films thickness decreases, the physical properties of the films change so that, in thin films, new physical properties appear, which are not present in the corresponding bulk materials. A typical example of this is metallic film resistivity, which increases drastically, decreasing film thickness. However, several other metallic films properties can be largely tuned by thickness and nanostructure control, from mechanical ones to optical ones. In addition, recently, great interest has been given to the plasmonic properties of thin nanostructured and nano-patterned metallic films, in the fabrication of high-sensitivity optical sensors (exploiting, for example, Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering). In this sense, the development of low-cost, versatile, simple and high-throughput nanofabrication and nano-patterning approaches for metallic thin films gained a key role in the production of real devices.

This Special Issue of Metals aims at collecting a compilation of review articles and original research papers illustrating: a) the latest developments in nanofabrication and nano-patterning of thin metallic films; b) the development of new 1D, 2D, and 3D metallic nano-architectures for specific applications; c) the use of advanced state-of-art characterization methods for the understanding of full metallic films and nano-architectures properties; d) exploitation of the physico-chemical properties of nanostructured metallic films in the fabrication of devices (from electronics to sensors).

In this sense, papers covering up-to-date theoretical and experimental concepts, from the elucidation of basic mechanisms involved in fabrication processes to those involved in the exploitation of the properties for forefront applications, are expected. Thus, the topics cover multidisciplinary research fields, including nanomaterials, biotechnology, nanofabrication, and sensors.

Dr. Francesco Ruffino
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nanostructured Metallic Films
  • Novel Metallic Nanoarchitectures
  • Nanofabrication
  • Nano-patterning
  • Nanostructured devices
  • Nanoelectronics
  • Composite metallic films
  • Plasmonics
  • Biosensing
  • Electronic transport

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Evolution of Ternary AuAgPd Nanoparticles by the Control of Temperature, Thickness, and Tri-Layer
Metals 2017, 7(11), 472; doi:10.3390/met7110472
Received: 19 September 2017 / Revised: 30 October 2017 / Accepted: 30 October 2017 / Published: 4 November 2017
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Abstract
Metallic alloy nanoparticles (NPs) possess great potential to enhance the optical, electronic, chemical, and magnetic properties for various applications by the control of morphology and elemental composition. This work presents the fabrication of ternary AuAgPd alloy nanostructures on sapphire (0001) via the solid-state
[...] Read more.
Metallic alloy nanoparticles (NPs) possess great potential to enhance the optical, electronic, chemical, and magnetic properties for various applications by the control of morphology and elemental composition. This work presents the fabrication of ternary AuAgPd alloy nanostructures on sapphire (0001) via the solid-state dewetting of sputter-deposited tri-metallic layers. Based on the systematic control of temperature, thickness, and deposition order of tri-layers, the composite AuAgPd alloy nanoparticles (NPs) with various shape, size, and density are demonstrated. The metallic tri-layers exhibit various stages of dewetting based on the increasing growth temperatures between 400 and 900 °C at 15 nm tri-layer film thickness. Specifically, the nucleation of tiny voids and hillocks, void coalescence, the growth and isolated nanoparticle formation, and the shape transformation with Ag sublimation are observed. With the reduced film thickness (6 nm), tiny alloy NPs with improved structural uniformity and spatial arrangement are obtained due to enhanced dewetting. The growth trend of alloy NPs is drastically altered by changing the deposition order of metallic tri-layers. The overall evolution is governed by the surface diffusion and inter-mixing of metallic atoms, Rayleigh-like instability, surface and interface energy minimization, and equilibrium state of the system. The UV-VIS-NIR reflectance spectra reveal the formation of an absorption band and reflectance maxima at specific wavelengths based on the morphology and composition of AuAgPd alloy NPs. In addition, Raman spectra analysis shows the modulation of intensity and peak position of natural vibration modes of sapphire (0001). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Experimental Analysis on the Molten-Phase Dewetting Characteristics of AuPd Alloy Films on Topographically-Structured Substrates
Metals 2017, 7(9), 327; doi:10.3390/met7090327
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
AuPd nanoparticles are formed on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) by a nanosecond laser irradiation-induced dewetting process of deposited AuPd films. In particular, we analyze the effect of the surface topography of the substrate on the dewetting process and, so, on the final mean
[...] Read more.
AuPd nanoparticles are formed on fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO) by a nanosecond laser irradiation-induced dewetting process of deposited AuPd films. In particular, we analyze the effect of the surface topography of the substrate on the dewetting process and, so, on the final mean size of the formed nanoparticles. In fact, we used two supporting FTO substrates differing in the surface topography: we used a FTO layer which is un-intentionally patterned since it is formed by FTO pyramids randomly distributed on the glass slide as result of the deposition process of the same FTO layer, namely substrate A. We used, also, a further FTO substrate, namely substrate B, presenting, as a result of a chemical etching process, a higher roughness and higher mean distance between nearest-neighbor pyramids with respect to substrate A. The results concerning the size of the obtained AuPd NPs by the laser irradiations with the laser fluence fixed shows that the substrate topography impacts on the dewetting process. In particular, we found that below a critical thickness of the deposited AuPd film, the NPs formed on substrates A and B have similar size and a similar trend for the evolution of their size versus the film thickness (i.e., the dewetting process is not influenced by the substrate topography since the film does not interact with the substrate topography). On the other hand, however, above a critical thickness of the deposited AuPd film, the AuPd NPs show a higher mean size (versus the film thickness) on substrate B than on substrate A, indicating that the AuPd film interacts with the substrate topography during the dewetting process. These results are quantified and discussed by the description of the substrate topography effect on the excess of chemical potential driving the dewetting process. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Broadband Dual-Phase Plasmons through Metallization of Polymeric Heterojunctions
Metals 2017, 7(8), 314; doi:10.3390/met7080314
Received: 1 July 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 12 August 2017 / Published: 16 August 2017
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Abstract
Large-area dual-phase plasmonic gold nanostructures were produced using the phase-separation pattern of a polymer blend film, where two typical light-emitting polymeric semiconductors of poly (9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) and poly (9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-bis-N,N′-(4-butylphenyl)-bis-N,N′-phenyl-1,4 phenylenediamine) (PFB)
[...] Read more.
Large-area dual-phase plasmonic gold nanostructures were produced using the phase-separation pattern of a polymer blend film, where two typical light-emitting polymeric semiconductors of poly (9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-benzothiadiazole) (F8BT) and poly (9,9-dioctylfluorene-co-bis-N,N′-(4-butylphenyl)-bis-N,N′-phenyl-1,4 phenylenediamine) (PFB) have been employed to construct the heterojunction patterns. The laser-induced selective cross-linking of F8BT molecules and the subsequent rinsing process using the good solvent of chloroform for PFB supplies a stable template for a further metallization process. When colloidal gold nanoparticles were spin-coated onto the surface of the template, a majority of the gold nanoparticles were confined into the “holes” of originally PFB-rich phase, while a minor portion stays on the “ridges” of F8BT-rich phase. After the annealing process, larger gold nanoparticles were produced inside the holes and smaller ones on the ridges, which induced localized surface plasmon resonance in the near infrared and in the visible, respectively. The structural parameters of the gold plasmonic pattern can be tuned by different surface modification and annealing processes, which can tune the spectroscopic response in the spectral position and in the spectral intensity. The produced nanostructures with broadband plasmon resonance can be used as a template for random lasers with strong optical scattering at both the pump and emission wavelengths and for photovoltaic devices with strong absorption in the visible and near infrared. Full article
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