Sculpting nanoscale precipitation patterns in nanocomposite thin films viahyperthermal ion deposition
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Control of the morphology of self-organized nanostructures is the key issue in bottom-upapproaches. Here, morphological transitions of precipitation patterns in C:Cu nanocomposite filmsare studied. The films have been grown by oblique incidence ionized physical vapor deposition. Weshow that the ion energy and directionality are transferred into the C–Cu phase separation processresulting in nanopattern formation and tilt. Increasing metal content induces the “tilted”-“lying”transition accompanied with Cu nanoparticle prolate-spherical-oblate shape transformations. Theresults allow the identification of metal subplantation as the key atomistic mechanism, anddemonstrate the possibility to achieve nanoscale sculpting via energetic ion deposition.