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In situ and ex situ processes for synthesizing metal multilayers with electronically conductive interfacesA number of technological applications and scientific experiments require processes for preparing metal multilayers with electronically and thermally conductive interfaces. We investigate how in situ vs ex situ synthesis processes affect the thermal conductance of metal/metal interfaces. We use time-domain thermoreflectance experiments to study thermal transport in Au/Fe, Al/Cu, and Cu/Pt bilayer samples. We quantify the effect of exposing the bottom metal layer to an ambient environment prior to deposition of the top metal layer. We observe that for Au/Fe, exposure of the Fe layer to air before depositing the top Au layer significantly impedes interfacial electronic currents. Exposing Cu to air prior to depositing an Al layer effectively eliminates interfacial electronic heat currents between the two metal layers. Exposure to air appears to have no effect on interfacial transport in the Cu/Pt system. Finally, we show that a short RF sputter etch of the bottom layer surface is sufficient to ensure a thermally and electronically conductive metal/metal interface in all materials we study. We analyze our results with a two-temperature model and bound the electronic interface conductance for the nine samples we study. Our findings have applications for thin-film synthesis and advance fundamental understanding of electronic thermal conductance atmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2023
Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 21, 2023