Conformality of PVD shell layers on GLAD-nanorods investigated by Monte Carlo simulations

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The quality of the shell coating around nanorods is critical in device applications. Conventional physical vapor deposition (PVD) techniques can be utilized for highly conformal shell coating formation in core-shell structure devices. To identify scalable fabrication techniques for conformal shell coatings, Monte Carlo (MC) simulations of PVD growth were performed under different atomic flux distributions and angles on arrays of glancing angle deposition (GLAD) nanorods, which were also generated by MC simulations. We investigated the conformality of PVD films (shell) around GLAD rod arrays (core) and analyzed the thickness uniformity of the shell layer across the sidewalls of rods. Our results show that Angular Flux-Normal Angle (A-NAD), which might correspond to high-pressure sputter deposition at normal incidence (HIPS at θ = 0o) can generate better conformal shell coating compared to others. In Uniform Flux-Normal Angle technique (U-NAD), which corresponds to a thermal evaporation deposition, the growth suffers from poor sidewall coverage. In addition, introducing a small angle to the flux also improves the shell conformality. Therefore, high-pressure sputter deposition technique is expected to provide superior conformality for a catalyst or semiconductor coating around base nanorods, for example for fuel cell and solar cell applications, with the help of obliquely incident atoms of the HIPS flux.

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