Microscopy and Microanalysis

Materials Applications

Disassembling Glancing Angle Deposited Films for High-Throughput, Single-Post Growth Scaling Measurements

Joshua Morgan Arthur Siewerta1 c1, Joshua Michael LaForgea1, Michael Thomas Taschuka1 and Michael Julian Bretta1a2

a1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2V4, Canada

a2 NRC National Institute for Nanotechnology, Edmonton, AB T6G 2M9, Canada


With growing interest in nanostructured thin films produced by glancing angle deposition (GLAD), it becomes increasingly important to understand their overall growth mechanics and nanocolumn structure. We present a new method of isolating the individual nanocolumns of GLAD films, facilitating automated measurement of their broadening profiles. Data collected for α = 81° TiO2 vertical nanocolumns deposited across a range of substrate rotation rates demonstrates that these rates influence growth scaling parameters. Further, individual posts were found in each case that violate predicted Kardar-Parisi-Zhang growth scaling limits. The technique's current iteration is comparable to existing techniques in speed: though data were studied from 10,756 individual objects, the majority could not be confidently used in subsequent analysis. Further refinement may allow high-throughput automated film characterization and permit close examination of subtle growth trends, potentially enhancing control over GLAD film broadening and morphology.

(Received January 19 2012)

(Accepted April 15 2012)

Key words

  • GLAD;
  • growth;
  • broadening;
  • disassembling;
  • isolating;
  • scaling;
  • single post


c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: jsiewert@ualberta.ca