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Open AccessArticle

Inhibiting the Segregation of Germanium in Silver Nanolayers

Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw, Pasteura 5 str., 02−093 Warsaw, Poland
Institute of Mathematics and Physics, UTP University of Science and Technology, Kaliskiego 7 Str. 85-796 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Crystals 2020, 10(4), 262;
Received: 12 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 24 March 2020 / Published: 1 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Optical and Microstructural Characterization of Thin Layers)
It is generally acknowledged that using germanium as a wetting film for silver nanolayers decreases the surface roughness of the metal. However, germanium atoms also tend to segregate towards the surface of silver films, increasing ohmic losses in the structure. Here we propose an Au/Ge/Ag based structure where the segregation of germanium in silver is inhibited. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) results show that for the Au/Ge/Ag system, the surface concentration of germanium drops by an order of magnitude relative to multilayers containing only one type of metal (Ag or Au). We have also observed that the time-dependent decrease in the reflectivity due to localized surface plasmon excitation is less prominent in the case of the Au/Ge/Ag structure than in the case of Ag/Ge/Ag. We provide XPS as well as optical reflectometry results to support that claim. View Full-Text
Keywords: silver; germanium; gold; nanolayers; segregation silver; germanium; gold; nanolayers; segregation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ciesielski, A.; Trzcinski, M.; Szoplik, T. Inhibiting the Segregation of Germanium in Silver Nanolayers. Crystals 2020, 10, 262.

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