*Stefan Saager, Bert Scheffel, Thomas Modes, Olaf Zywitzki, Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, Dresden, Germany
Porous thin films have various application fields, e.g., for energy conversion in fuel cells, energy storage in lithium ion batteries or supercapacitors as well for catalysis, filtration and sensing. We synthesized porous thin films by co-evaporating a low-vapor-pressure material (e.g., Si, Ni or C) together with zinc and depositing a compact layer of resulting composite. High-rate deposition process up to 100 nm/s was realized by electron beam evaporation of the materials from two graphite crucibles with a fast deflected electron beam in high vacuum. Immediately after deposition, the coated stainless steel substrates were heated up in vacuum to a temperature above 500 °C and thereby zinc is removed selectively. Due to its higher vapor pressure against that of remaining component, zinc is expelled from the layer and vacancies are generated by so called vapor phase dealloying. We investigated the feasibility of vapor phase dealloying process for the elements silicon, nickel and carbon. The elemental composition and the morphology of the layers prior and after thermal annealing were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy, by energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry and by X-ray diffraction.