Spontaneous Ordering of Oxide Nanostructures

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Science  24 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5461, pp. 2235-2237
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5461.2235

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We report the spontaneous formation of uniformly distributed arrays of “tips” (tall conical hillocks) upon oxidation of palladium (Pd) thin films. The formation of the palladium oxide tips depended on the thickness and granularity of the Pd film and on annealing and oxidation conditions. As the Pd film thickness increased from 40 to 200 nanometers, the average height of the tips increased from 0.5 to 1.2 micrometers, their height distribution became broader, and their density decreased from 55 × 106 to 12 × 106 per square centimeter. Enhanced photoelectron emission from locations corresponding to the tips suggests their possible use in field emission applications.

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