Morrison, NA and Rodil, SE and Robertson, J and Milne, WI (2001) Chemical sputtering of ta-C: Implications for the deposition of carbon nitride. Journal of Applied Physics, 89. pp. 5754-5759. ISSN 0021-8979Full text not available from this repository.
The majority of attempts to synthesize the theoretically predicted superhard phase β-C3N4 have been driven towards the use of techniques which maximize both the carbon sp3 levels and the amount of nitrogen incorporated within the film. However, as yet no attempt has been made to understand the mechanism behind the resultant chemical sputter process and its obvious effect upon film growth. In this work, however, the chemical sputtering process has been investigated through the use of an as-deposited tetrahedrally bonded amorphous carbon film with a high density nitrogen plasma produced using an rf-based electron cyclotron wave resonance source. The results obtained suggested the presence of two distinct ion energy dependent regimes. The first, below 100 eV, involves the chemical sputtering of carbon from the surface, whereas the second at ion energies in excess of 100 eV exhibits a drop in sputter rate associated with the subplantation of nitrogen within the carbon matrix. Furthermore, as the sample temperature is increased there is a concomitant decrease in sputter rate suggesting that the rate is controlled by the adsorption and desorption of additional precursor species rather than the thermal desorption of CN. A simple empirical model has been developed in order to elucidate some of the primary reactions involved in the sputter process. Through the incorporation of various previously determined experimental parameters including electron temperature, ion current density, and nitrogen partial pressure the results indicated that molecular nitrogen physisorbed at the ta-C surface was the dominant precursor involved in the chemical sputter process. However, as the physisorption enthalpy of molecular nitrogen is low this suggests that activation of this molecular species takes place only through ion impact at the surface. The obtained results therefore provide important information for the modeling and growth of high density carbon nitride. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.
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