MRS Proceedings


Dewetting on the Surface of Rutile

2004 MRS Spring Meeting.

Shelley R. Gillissa2, N. Ravishankara1 and C. Barrya2

a1 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

a2 Carter Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota 421 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis MN 55455, USA


After annealing a continuous SiO2 film on the (001) surface of TiO2, the film dewets and then spreads to form a complex pattern. The final droplet morphology displays a densely branching morphology similar to those seen in computer-simulated models. It is proposed that Bénard-Marangoni convection cells form within the film before dewetting occurs. The formation of Bénard-Marangoni convection cells prior to dewetting results in the uniform size and spacing of the droplets on the surface. These convection cells form at temperature when the TiO2 substrate dissolves into the SiO2 thin film. The change in composition results in regions of differing surface tensions and therefore leads to the formation of the convection cells.