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Au thin films have been deposited by DC magnetron sputtering on Si (001) substrates at different substrate temperatures, ranging from 200 K to 450 K. With increasing temperature, the expected crystallinity and morphology of the Au thin film are clearly improved, as shown by x ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy experiments. Parallel to this, the surface acoustic wave propagation velocity shows a clear enhancement toward the ideal values obtained from numerical simulations of a Au thin film on Si (001) substrate. Moreover, a very thin and slightly rough interlayer between the Si (001) substrate and the Au thin film is developed for temperatures above 350 K. The composition and nature of this interlayer is not known. This interlayer may be responsible for the steep change in the structural and elastic properties of the Au thin films at the higher temperatures and possibly also for an improvement of the adhesion properties of the Au on the Si (001) substrate.