School of Physics, Engineering and Technology
Contact: Erik Wagenaars
Plasmas are extremely successful in many industrial thin-film applications. However, nowadays newly developed thin films have increased complexity, requiring deposition techniques that are versatile and offer enhanced control of film properties and quality.
Our current interest in thin-film deposition is mainly focussing on pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) of metal-oxide films (e.g. ZnO, MgO, CuO, TiO2).
Our goal is to develop a detailed understanding of all the relevant fundamental science processes by combine sophisticated numerical simulations with experiments performed in the YPI labs.
Our current interest in thin-film deposition is mainly focussing on pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) of metal-oxide films (e.g. ZnO, MgO, TiO2.). In PLD a high-power laser interacts with a target material, creating a plasma made up of atoms, molecules, ions and electrons. This expanding plasma plume will deposit as a thin film on a substrate material downstream from the laser-target interaction. If the properties of the laser, target and substrate are chosen accurately, a high-quality metal-oxide thin film is produced. These metal-oxide films are widely used in industry in microelectronics, photonics, and catalysts. Nevertheless, the deposition of highly performing films e.g. for transparent conductors not involving indium, an element which is becoming increasingly rare, is still a challenge which our research intends to address.
Our goal is to develop a detailed understanding of all the relevant fundamental science processes, from laser-solid interaction, via plume expansion to deposition at the plasma-surface interface. For this we combine sophisticated numerical simulations of the different physical processes with experiments performed in the YPI labs focussing on diagnosing the properties of the depositing plasma as well as the film quality. Part of this work is done in collaboration with colleagues in the Laser Plasma group of the York Plasma Institute working on laser ablation.
Self-funded PhD applications in this area are welcome.
S Rajendiran, A K Rossall, A Gibson, E Wagenaars, Modelling of laser ablation and reactive oxygen plasmas for pulsed laser deposition of zinc oxide, Surf. Coat. Technol. 260, 417-423 (2014)