CHARACTERIZATION OF THE AU SURFACE-STRUCTURE OF AL-L-AU LIGHT-EMITTING TUNNEL-JUNCTIONS

HP HAGAN*, AJL FERGUSON, RJ TURNER, KW SMITH, P DAWSON, DG WALMSLEY

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Visible light is emitted from the Au-air interface of Al-I-Au thin-film tunnel junctions (deposited over a thin layer of CaF2 on glass) as a result of the decay of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs). We show the surface topography of such a Au film and relate its large-scale features to the outcoupling of fast SPP's to photons. The absence of short-scale roughness features is explained by thier disappearance through surface diffusion. To confirm this a controlled sequence of 5-nm, 20-ms scanning tunneling microscope (STM) W tip crashes has been used to produce indentations 3 nm deep with a lateral dimension of 5-7 nm on a Au crystal in air at room temperature. Four sequences of indentations were drawn in the form of a square box. Right from the start, feature decay is observed and over a period of 2 h a succession of images shows that the structure disappears into the background as a result of surface diffusion. The surface diffusion constant is estimated to be 10(-18) cm2 s-1. The lack of light output via slow mode SPPs is an inevitable consequence of surface annealing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-882
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of vacuum science & technology b
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991
Event5TH INTERNATIONAL CONF ON SCANNING TUNNELING MICROSCOPY/SPECTROSCOPY ( STM 90 ) / 1ST INTERNATIONAL CONF ON NANOMETER SCALE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ( NANO 1 ) - BALTIMORE, Moldova, Republic of
Duration: 23 Jul 199027 Jul 1990

Keywords

  • EMISSION
  • MICROSCOPE
  • DIFFUSION
  • SPECTRA

Cite this

HAGAN, HP., FERGUSON, AJL., TURNER, RJ., SMITH, KW., DAWSON, P., & WALMSLEY, DG. (1991). CHARACTERIZATION OF THE AU SURFACE-STRUCTURE OF AL-L-AU LIGHT-EMITTING TUNNEL-JUNCTIONS. Journal of vacuum science & technology b, 9(2), 879-882.