Energetic bombardment and defect generation during magnetron-sputter- deposition of metal layers on graphene

N Pliatsikas and O Karabinaki and M Zarshenas and GA Almyras and I Shtepliuk and R Yakimova and J Arvanitidis and D Christofilos and K Sarakinos, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 566, 150661 (2021).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2021.150661

In the present work, we elucidate the interplay among energetic bombardment effects in magnetron sputtering and defect generation in two-dimensional (2D) materials. Using deposition of gold (Au) layers on single-layer graphene (SLG) as a model system, we study the effect of pressure-distance (pd) product during magnetron sputtering on the pristine SLG properties. Raman spectroscopy, complemented by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, shows that for pd = 8.2 Pa center dot cm, Au layer deposition causes defects in the SLG layer, which gradually diminish and eventually disappear with increasing pd to 82.5 Pa center dot cm. Stochastic and deterministic simulations of the sputtering process, the gas-phase transport, and the interaction of sputtered and plasma species with the substrate surface suggest that defects in SLG primarily emanate from ballistic damage caused by backscattered Ar atoms with energies above 100 eV. With increasing pd, and thereby gas-phase scattering, such high energy Ar species become thermalized and hence incapable of causing atomic displacements in the SLG layer. The overall results of our study suggest that control of backscattered Ar energy is a potential path toward enabling magnetron sputtering for fabrication of multifunctional metal contacts in devices founded upon 2D materials.

Return to Publications page