Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Gregory Kenning, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Majid Karimi, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Muhammad Numan, Ph.D.

Abstract

Multilayer "Co" /"Sb" thin films created via electron-beam physical vapor deposition are known to exhibit thermally activated dynamics. Scanning tunneling microscopy has indicated that the "Co" forms nanoparticles within an "Sb" matrix during deposition and subsequently forms nanowires by way of NP migration within the interstices of the confining layers. The electrical resistance of these systems decays during this irreversible aging process in a manner well-modeled by an Arrhenius law. Presently, this phenomenon is shown to possess some degree of tunability with respect to "Co" layer thickness t_"Co" as well as deposition temperature T_"dep" , whereby characteristic timescales increase with either parameter. Furthermore, fluctuation timescales and activation energies seem to decrease and increase respectively with increasing t_"Co" . An easily calibrated, one-time-use, time-temperature switch based on such systems lies within the realm of plausibility. The results presented here can be considered to be part of an ongoing development of the concept.

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