Production of metal-oxide nanoclusters using inert-gas condensation technique

Ahmad I. Ayesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Inert-gas condensation is a novel technique that can be used to produce nanoclusters for different applications. In the present work, dc sputtering combined with inert-gas condensation were used to produce copper oxide nanoclusters inside an ultra-high vacuum compatible system. The size and yield of nanoclusters could be controlled by adjusting the inert-gas flow rate, sputtering discharge power, and aggregation length. The results revealed that nanoclusters were formed as a result of either or both mechanisms: three-body and two-body collisions. Herein, the three-body collision mechanism is responsible for nanocluster seed production, while two-body collision mechanism is responsible for nanocluster growth through atomic condensation and coagulation of nanoclusters. The inert-gas flow rate was found to be the main factor to determine the nanocluster size. The results were compared with a discrete coagulation system model and revealed reasonable agreement. Thin film of copper oxide nanoclusters was fabricated and used to produce a device. Electrical and optical measurements of the device revealed its suitability for practical applications such as solar cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-213
Number of pages7
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusPublished - Aug 31 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • CuO
  • Inert-gas condensation
  • Nanoclusters
  • Sputtering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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