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Formation of porous low-dimensional nickel systems during near-equilibrium condensation in ultrapure inert environment
A new technique for synthesizing porous low-dimensional nickel has been developed, which involves the controlled sputter deposition of extremely small vapor fluxes in an ultrapure inert environment. This technique is based on the phase transition of sputtered substances into the condensed state under conditions close to thermodynamic equilibrium. The evolution of morphologically unique condensates which consist of weakly bound crystals have been analyzed on the basis of electron microscopy investigations. The experiments have shown that a rather prolonged condensation for durations exceeding 4 h results in the nucleation of whiskers with diameters between 30 and 600 nm. It is suggested that highly porous nickel structures obtained near thermodynamic equilibrium belong to a new zone in the structure zone model.