Fractal analysis as a potential tool for surface morphology of thin films
Department of Optoelectronics and Department of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, University of Kerala, Trivandrum, India
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Accepted: 7 December 2017
Published online: 28 December 2017
Fractal geometry developed by Mandelbrot has emerged as a potential tool for analyzing complex systems in the diversified fields of science, social science, and technology. Self-similar objects having the same details in different scales are referred to as fractals and are analyzed using the mathematics of non-Euclidean geometry. The present work is an attempt to correlate fractal dimension for surface characterization by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM). Taking the AFM images of zinc sulphide (ZnS) thin films prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) technique, under different annealing temperatures, the effect of annealing temperature and surface roughness on fractal dimension is studied. The annealing temperature and surface roughness show a strong correlation with fractal dimension. From the regression equation set, the surface roughness at a given annealing temperature can be calculated from the fractal dimension. The AFM images are processed using Photoshop and fractal dimension is calculated by box-counting method. The fractal dimension decreases from 1.986 to 1.633 while the surface roughness increases from 1.110 to 3.427, for a change of annealing temperature 30 ° C to 600 ° C. The images are also analyzed by power spectrum method to find the fractal dimension. The study reveals that the box-counting method gives better results compared to the power spectrum method.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature, 2017