Most metals on SiO2 have a finite contact angle and are therefore subject to dewetting during thermal processing. The resulting dewetting morphology is determined primarily by nucleation and growth or instabilities. The dewetting mechanism implies a disordered spatial arrangement for homogeneous nucleation, but an ordered one for instabilities such as spinodal decomposition. Here, we show that the morphology of laser-melted ultrathin Co film (4-nm thick) can be attributed to dewetting via an instability. Dewetting leads to breakup of the continuous Co film into nanoparticles with a monomodal size distribution with an average particle diameter of 75 nm ±23 nm. These nanoparticles have short-range order (SRO) of 130 nm in their separation. This result has important implications for nanomanufacturing with a robust spacing or size selection of nanoparticles in addition to spatial ordering.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Materials Chemistry