Enhanced Diffusional Self-Healing of Polycrystalline Thin Films
We considered the flattening of perturbed surface of a thin stress-free polycrystalline film with columnar microstructure deposited on rigid substrate. We show that the mass transport along the film/substrate interface and along the grain boundaries significantly contributes to the overall rate of surface flattening of the film. The diffusion along the film/substrate interface and along the grain boundaries is driven by the capillary stresses in the film. Using the approximation of small surface slopes, we calculated the distribution of capillary stresses in the film, and derived an explicit expression for the temporal behavior of the film topography. The initial distribution of the capillary stresses rapidly relaxes to the steady-state one that does not allow the accumulation of bending strain in the film. For the films with passivated or contaminated surfaces exhibiting reduced surface diffusivity the interfacial and grain boundary diffusion play a leading role in kinetics of surface flattening. The flattening process can be accelerated in this case by several orders of magnitude. The results of our work can be helpful in design of thin films and coatings with enhanced selfhealing capabilities.
M. Danielewski, R. Filipek, R. Kozubski, W. Kucza, P. Zieba, Z. Zurek
E. Rabkin and L. M. Klinger, "Enhanced Diffusional Self-Healing of Polycrystalline Thin Films", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 237-240, pp. 524-530, 2005