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Naval Research Lab Uncovers New Finding in Thin-Film Growth Process for Powder Production

NRL image
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U.S. Naval Research Laboratory scientists have found that core particles of different sizes in a powder batch tend to develop the same level of shell thickness when subjected to a thin-film growth process called particle atomic layer deposition.

The p-ALD process is a chemical vapor deposition-based process used in the electronics sector that works to coat devices with dielectric thin film materials, NRL said Wednesday.

“Particle atomic layer deposition is highlighted as a technology that can create new and exciting designer core/shell particles to be used as building blocks for the next generation of complex multifunctional nanocomposites,” said Boris Feygelson, research engineer at NRL’s electronics science and technology division.

“Shell-thickness is most often a crucial parameter in applications where core-shell materials can be used to enhance performance of future materials.”

Researchers used a transmission electronic microscope to measure the growth of alumina shell on tungsten-based core particles.

They also found that the uniformity of shell thickness on various particle sizes can be attributed to water, which serves as a reactant in the p-ALD process.

The study was published in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A.

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