- Published on 26 February 2014
The effect of spatial ordering of molecules on surfaces is commonly utilised to deposit ultra-thin films, where the film thickness is only a few nanometres. In this EPJ D review paper, several methods are discussed that are distinguished from other thin film deposition processes by exactly these effects, leading to self-assembling and self-limiting layer growth and, eventually, to coatings with unique and fascinating properties, and applications in micro-electronics, optics, chemistry, and biology.
Traditional methods for the formation of self-assembled films, including the Langmuir-Blodgett technique for ordered organic molecules and thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) for inorganic molecules, are evaluated. This overview is complemented by a discussion of more recent developments for the deposition of organic or hybrid films by molecular layer deposition. Particular attention is given to plasma-assisted techniques, whether employed as a preparative step, a supplementary step, or as an inherent part of the deposition, as in plasma enhanced ALD (PE-ALD) or plasma-assisted repeated grafting deposition (PA-RGD). The different methods are compared and their film formation mechanisms, together with their advantages, are presented from the perspective of a plasma scientist. The paper contains lists of established film compounds, and a collection of relevant literature is provided for further reading.
Self-assembling and self-limiting monolayer deposition. Rüdiger Foest, Martin Schmidt and Hassan Gargouri (2014) Eur.Phys. J. D, DOI: 10.1140/epjd/e2013-40420-y