CUED Publications database

Measurement of the elastic constants of nanometric films

Beghi, MG and Bottani, CE and Bassi, AL and Tanner, BK and Ferrari, AC and Teo, KBK and Robertson, J (2001) Measurement of the elastic constants of nanometric films. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, 4449. pp. 119-130. ISSN 0277-786X

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Carbon coatings of thickness down to 2 nanometers are needed to increase the storage density in magnetic hard disks and reach the 100 Gbit/in2 target. Methods to measure the properties of these ultrathin hard films still have to be developed. We show that combining Surface Brillouin Scattering (SBS) andX-ray reflectivity measurements the elastic constants of such films are accessible. Tetrahedral amorphous carbofilms of thickness down to about 2 nm were deposited on Si by an S bend filtered cathodic vacuum arc, achieving a continuous coverage on large areas free of macroparticles. Film thickness and mass density are measured by X-ray reflectivity: Densities above 3 g/cm3 are found, indicating a significant sp3 content. The dispersion relations of surface acoustic waves are measured by SBS. We show that for thicknesses above ∼4 nm these waves can be described by a continuum elastic model based on a single homogeneous equivalent film. The elastic constants can then be obtained by fitting the dispersion relations, computed for given film properties, to the measured dispersion relations. For thicknesses of 3 nm or less qualitative differences among films are well measurable, but quantitative results are less reliable. We have thus shown that we can grow and characterise nanometer size tetrahedral amorphous carbon film, which maintain their high density and peculiar mechanical properties down to around 4 nm thickness, satisfying the requirements set for the hard disk coating material.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Div B > Solid State Electronics and Nanoscale Science
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:28
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2019 15:53
DOI: 10.1117/12.450085