Dewetting of ultrathin Ag film with random vacancy defects on a SiO2 substrate: a molecular dynamics simulation

L Wang, RSC ADVANCES, 12, 26406-26410 (2022).

DOI: 10.1039/d2ra03137j

The spinodal instability and thermal nucleation mechanisms successfully describe the dewetting of metallic thin films. The previous research mainly focuses on homogeneous and continuous films. However, less attention is paid to the effect of random vacancy defects that frequently appear in actual situations on the film dewetting. In this work, the thermally-induced dewetting of a 0.4 nm thick ultrathin Ag film with different vacancy rate (f) ranging from 0.01 to 0.5 on a SiO2 substrate is investigated by the molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Thermal nucleation and growth of holes appear in the dewetting process. The characteristic dewetting time (t) decreases dramatically with the increase of vacancy rate (f) of the Ag film. This is possibly because the presence of vacancy defects effectively reduce the incubation period of the initial holes, which is significant even for a very small vacancy rate less than 0.05.

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