Ultrathin silver films have been deposited on glass and oxide-coated glass using filtered cathodic arc deposition and, for comparison, magnetron sputtering. The energetic differences between these deposition methods lead to initially different film properties. Silver films made by cathodic arc deposition show an earlier onset of island coalescence, indicating a lower aspect ratio than islands produced by evaporation and sputtering. However, the as-deposited films are thermodynamically unstable, exhibiting changes on a timescale of minutes. While films of islands tend to increase their sheet resistance with time, the sheet resistance of contiguous films shows a decrease. Both effects can be explained by silver mobility driven to minimize film and interfacial energy.

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