Sub-monolayer growth of Ag on flat and nanorippled SiO2 surfaces

In-situ Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry (RBS) and Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations have been used to investigate the growth dynamics of silver on a flat and the rippled silica surface. The calculated sticking coeficient of silver over a range of incidence angles shows a similar behaviour to the experimental results for an average surface binding energy of a silver adatom of 0.2 eV. This value was used to parameterise the MD model of the cumulative deposition of silver in order to understand the growth mechanisms. Both the model and the RBS results show marginal difference between the atomic concentration of silver on the at and the rippled silica surface, for the same growth conditions. For oblique incidence, cluster growth occurs mainly on the leading edge of the rippled structure.