The influence of Ti seed layers on the structure of self-organized Ag nanodots, obtained with a Ti seed-layer-assisted thermal agglomeration method, has been investigated. The samples were grown on MgO(001) single crystal substrates by RF magnetron sputter deposition. The samples were deposited at room temperature and post-annealed at 350 °C for 4 h while maintaining the chamber vacuum conditions. The results of atomic force microscopy (AFM) observations indicated that the insertion of the Ti seed layer (0.6-5.0 nm) between the MgO substrate and Ag layer promotes the agglomeration process, forming the nanodot array. Comparisons between the AFM images revealed that the size of the Ag nanodots was increased with an increase in the Ti seed layer thickness. The atomic concentration of the film surface was confirmed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The XPS result suggested that the nanodot surface mainly consisted of Ag. Moreover, X-ray diffraction results proved that the initial deposition of the Ti seed layer (0.6-5.0 nm) onto MgO(001) prior to the Ag deposition yielded high-quality fcc-Ag(001) oriented epitaxial nanodots. The optical absorbance spectra of the fabricated Ag nanodots with various Ti seed layer thicknesses were obtained in the visible light range.
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