Nanometer-Thick Gold on Silicon as a Proxy for Single-Crystal Gold for the Electrodeposition of Epitaxial Cuprous Oxide Thin Films


Single-crystal Au is an excellent substrate for electrochemical epitaxial growth due to its chemical inertness, but the high cost of bulk Au single crystals prohibits their use in practical applications. Here, we show that ultrathin epitaxial films of Au electrodeposited onto Si(111), Si(100), and Si(110) wafers can serve as an inexpensive proxy for bulk single-crystal Au for the deposition of epitaxial films of cuprous oxide (Cu2O). The Au films range in thickness from 7.7 nm for a film deposited for 5 min to 28.3 nm for a film deposited for 30 min. The film thicknesses are measured by low-angle X-ray reflectivity and X-ray Laue oscillations. High-resolution TEM shows that there is not an interfacial SiOx layer between the Si and Au. The Au films deposited on the Si(111) substrates are smoother and have lower mosaic spread than those deposited onto Si(100) and Si(110). The mosaic spread of the Au(111) layer on Si(111) is only 0.15° for a 28.3 nm thick film. Au films deposited onto degenerate Si(111) exhibit ohmic behavior, whereas Au films deposited onto n-type Si(111) with a resistivity of 1.15 Ω·cm are rectifying with a barrier height of 0.85 eV. The Au and the Cu2O follow the out-of-plane and in-plane orientations of the Si substrates, as determined by X-ray pole figures. The Au and Cu2O films deposited on Si(100) and Si(110) are both twinned. The films grown on Si(100) have twins with a [221] orientation, and the films grown on Si(110) have twins with a [411] orientation. An interface model is proposed for all Si orientations, in which the -24.9% mismatch for the Au/Si system is reduced to only +0.13% by a coincident site lattice in which 4 unit meshes of Au coincide with 3 unit meshes of Si. Although this study only considers the deposition of epitaxial Cu2O films on electrodeposited Au/Si, the thin Au films should serve as high-quality substrates for the deposition of a wide variety of epitaxial materials.



Keywords and Phrases

Copper; Corrosion; Deposition; Electrodeposition; Electrodes; Epitaxial films; Epitaxial growth; Films; Gold; Gold deposits; Oxide films; Silicon; Silicon oxides; Single crystals; Substrates; Thick films; Thin films; Ultrathin films; Bulk single crystals; Chemical inertness; Coincident site lattices; Cuprous oxide; Epitaxial materials; High-resolution TEM; In-plane orientation; X ray reflectivity; Silicon wafers

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Article - Journal

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© 2016 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2016