Effect of TiO2 Film Thickness on the Stability of Au9 Clusters with a CrOx Layer

Abdulrahman S. Alotabi, Yanting Yin, Ahmad Redaa, Siriluck Tesana, Gregory F. Metha, Gunther G. Andersson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Radio frequency (RF) magnetron sputtering allows the fabrication of TiO2 films with high purity, reliable control of film thickness, and uniform morphology. In the present study, the change in surface roughness upon heating two different thicknesses of RF sputter-deposited TiO2 films was investigated. As a measure of the process of the change in surface morphology, chemically -synthesised phosphine-protected Au9 clusters covered by a photodeposited CrOx layer were used as a probe. Subsequent to the deposition of the Au9 clusters and the CrOx layer, samples were heated to 200 ℃ to remove the triphenylphosphine ligands from the Au9 cluster. After heating, the thick TiO2 film was found to be mobile, in contrast to the thin TiO2 film. The influence of the mobility of the TiO2 films on the Au9 clusters was investigated with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It was found that the high mobility of the thick TiO2 film after heating leads to a significant agglomeration of the Au9 clusters, even when protected by the CrOx layer. The thin TiO2 film has a much lower mobility when being heated, resulting in only minor agglomeration of the Au9 clusters covered with the CrOx layer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3218
Number of pages12
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Au
  • Cr(OH)
  • CrO layer
  • CrO
  • gold clusters
  • morphology
  • photodeposition
  • RF magnetron sputtering
  • TiO film
  • triphenylphosphine


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