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Zhou, Guangwen (2004) DYNAMICS OF COPPER OXIDATION INVESTIGATED BY IN SITU UHV-TEM. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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To bridge the gap between information provided by surface science methods (adsorption of up to ~a few monolayers of oxygen) and that provided by bulk oxidation studies (typically, an oxide layer of a few microns or thicker), the initial stages of metal oxidation ¾ from nucleation to coalescence ¾ are being investigated by in situ ultra-high vacuum transmission electron microscopy (UHV-TEM). The aims of this thesis research are to gain basic insight into the complex kinetics and energetics of nano-oxide formation during the initial stages of oxidation, and fundamentally understand the distribution, stability, and morphological evolution of oxide islands since controlled oxidation is a processing tool for creating nanostructure patterns on surfaces. A systematic in situ study was carried out of the dynamic responses of Cu thin films to variations in thermodynamic variables such as temperature, oxygen pressure, strain, and crystallographic orientation. The main findings of the experiments include: 1) the universality of oxygen surface diffusion model, 2) formation of completely different oxide structure from oxide islands (disks, nanorods, dome, container pyramids) to disordered networks and almost uniform layer growth by altering the oxidation temperature and substrate orientation, 3) creation of nano-indentation arrays on metal surfaces by reducing the oxide arrays. The in situ UHV-TEM measurements of shape and size evolution of the oxides were used to gain fundamental insights into the complex kinetics and energetics of oxidation and reduction. Models based on the surfaces and strain during oxidation explained quantitatively the formation of some of the novel oxide nano-structures. A wealth of surface processes were discovered that reveal how each surface and thermodynamic condition needs to be considered for fundamentally understanding and controlling oxidation behavior.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zhou, Guangwenguzst1@pitt.eduGUZST1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairYang, Judith Cjyang@engr.pitt.eduJUDYYANG
Committee MemberMao, Scott Xsmao@engr.pitt.eduSXM2
Committee MemberMeier, Gerald Hghmeier@engr.pitt.eduGHMEIER
Committee MemberBarnard, John AJBarnard@engr.pitt.eduJBARNARD
Committee MemberBharadwaj, Mridula
Date: 2 February 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 24 November 2003
Approval Date: 2 February 2004
Submission Date: 11 November 2003
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Materials Science and Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: in situ UHV-TEM; copper; initial stages of oxidation
Other ID:, etd-11112003-191721
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:04
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:51


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