In the present study, we probe into evolution of microstructure and surface morphology of gold thin films of 10 to 50 nm thickness deposited on Si (100) substrate by thermal evaporation method. These films were annealed at 250°C under vacuum. The as-deposited and annealed films were characterized by glancing angle X-Ray diffraction (GAXRD) and atomic force microscopy (AFM), techniques. XRD indicated improvement of crystallinity up to 2 hours of annealing and degradation of the same thereafter. In agreement with XRD result, the grain size distribution histogram obtained from AFM indicated grain growth with annealing time up to 2 hours and saturation or decrease of grain size thereafter. The observed result is explained by the occurrence of two competing phenomena like roughening induced grain growth and smoothening induced inhibition of grain growth with increasing annealing time.

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