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Gold nanoclusters (NCs) were produced in thin SiO 2 film by a sequential sputtering deposition procedure. In situ time-lapse studies of the NCs size distribution and morphology under 200 keV electron-beam irradiation have been performed using a transmission electron microscopy. Such a study has revealed the microscopic kinetic mechanisms of the NCs growth. In the 0–1620 s irradiation time range, the NCs growth process was found to be formed by two stages: in the 0–720 s time range, the main growth mechanism is demonstrated to be an electron beam-induced ripening of three-dimensional particles controlled by the Au diffusion in the SiO 2 matrix. The application of the classical ripening theoretical model allowed us to derive the room-temperature Au diffusion coefficient in SiO 2 under the electron-beam irradiation. In the 900–1620 s time range, the main growth mechanism is found to be a particle sintering …
IOP Publishing
Publication date: 
19 Mar 2009
Biblio References: 
Volume: 42 Issue: 7 Pages: 075304
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics