Abstract

The changes of the optical properties of aggregated silver films were investigated with an automatic recording ellipsometer immediately after deposition in vacuum and after admission of air into the vacuum chamber. The optical properties change for several minutes after the vapor stream is cut off from the substrate. By analyzing the changes with the model based on the two-dimensional distribution of island particles in the shape of ellipsoids of rotation (modified RE model), we found that these changes correspond to the decrease of the mean axial ratio of the island particles composing the film and the standard deviation of the distribution function of the axial ratio. That is, the flat island becomes globular after deposition. Such a morphological change of the particle is interpreted in terms of mass transport accompanied by surface self-diffusion. The changes followed by exposure to air can be interpreted by the formation of a layer of dielectric pellicle, such as an adsorption layer or a sulfide layer surrounding the island particles.

© 1971 Optical Society of America

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