Thin films of ever reducing thickness are used in a plethora of applications and their performance is highly dependent on their microstructure. Computer simulations could then play a vital role in predicting the microstructure of thin films as a function of processing conditions. FACET is one such software tool designed by our research group to model polycrystalline thin film growth, including texture evolution and grain growth of polycrystalline films in 2D. Several modifications to the original FACET code were done to enhance its usability and accuracy. Simulations of sputtered silver thin films are presented here with FACET 2.0 with qualitative and semi-quantitative comparisons with previously published experimental results. Comparisons of grain size, texture and film thickness between simulations and experiments are presented which describe growth modes due to various deposition factors like flux angle and substrate temperature. These simulations provide reasonable agreement with the experimental data over a diverse range of process parameters. Preliminary experiments in depositions of Silver films are also attempted with varying substrates and thickness in order to generate complementary experimental and simulation studies of microstructure evolution. Overall, based on the comparisons, FACET provides interesting insights into thin film growth processes, and the effects of various deposition conditions on thin film structure and microstructure. Lastly, simple molecular dynamics simulations of deposition on bi-crystals are attempted for gaining insight into texture based grain competition during film growth. These simulations predict texture based grain coarsening mechanisms like twinning and grain boundary migration that have been commonly reported in FCC films.
- Simulating texture evolution and grain growth in metallic thin films
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by Asit Rairkar