Photoassisted Immersion Deposition of Cu Clusters onto Porous Silicon: A Langmuir-Hill Ligand-Locus Model Applied to the Growth Kinetics

Cu-porous silicon (Cu-PS) composite materials consisting of nanosized Cu dusters preferentially grown on the surface of PS were fabricated by photoassisted deposition of Cu nanoparticles onto PS. Structural and chemical characterization of the Cu particles grown in the PS matrix has been carried out by synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy, from which different reaction stages have been identified within the photoassisted reaction. In particular, it was found that the reduction of Cu occurs in three main phases: (a) Cu nucleates homogeneously in a few seconds over the surface of PS by a coupled red-ox reaction; (b) clusters grow by new reduced ions, which tend to oxidize the previously deposited Cu atoms making increasingly heterogeneous Cu clusters; and (c) a competitive process between nucleation of new dusters and cluster coalescence gives rise to a bulklike Cu thin film. It was determined that the structures formed in the first two phases display surface plasmon resonance, with band intensity and broadening consistent with the increasing heterogeneity of the clusters. The growth kinetics has been fitted to a Langmuir-Hill model. Following these results, a reaction model has been proposed to explain the mechanisms involved in the first stages of Cu dustering.

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