P. Rumsby, B. Baloukas, O. Zabeida, L. Martinu
Department of Engineering Physics, Polytechnique Montreal,
Montreal, Quebec H3T 1J4, Canada
Thin silver layers are gathering increasing interest in a number of applications. However, despite their promising optical and electronic properties, certain drawbacks inherent to the material limit their ease of use. Due to their high susceptibility to degradation by corrosion, devices making use of silver layers require particular design considerations to withstand extended usage. Moreover, the deposition of highly transparent, thin continuous silver films has its own limitations imposed by their Volmer-Weber growth mode leading to island formation. Using in situ ellipsometry, film growth was investigated in various conditions, with the resulting morphology and durability studied by means of X-ray diffraction analysis and in situ spectrophotometry integrated with an accelerated corrosion testing cell. Using these tools, we demonstrate that we can not only conciliate the requirements of depositing thin conductive layers, we can achieve the desired optical properties while maintaining durability and adding antireflective properties.