Effect of laser intensity on the properties of carbon plasmas and deposited films

H. Ong, R. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The effect of laser intensity on the deposition of diamondlike carbon (DLC) films has been studied using an ArF (193 nm) pulsed excimer laser. Our results are found to be distinct from other studies using Nd-YAG infrared or excimer 248-nm lasers. Two issues concerning the growth mechanism of the films are discussed: (1) the dynamics of the laser-induced plasma and (2) the dependence of the nature of the deposited films on laser intensity. To address the first issue, time-integrated optical emission spectroscopy has been carried out to investigate the carbon plasma induced by the ArF (193 nm) laser. Instead of molecular carbon bands ((Formula presented)), monoatomic neutral ((Formula presented)) and ionic ((Formula presented)) emission lines are found to dominate the spectra. The emissions of ((Formula presented)) and ((Formula presented)) have been studied as a function of laser intensity. For low laser intensity, the laser irradiation removes the target surface material primarily through thermal evaporation. When the laser intensity is above a threshold of (3.7-4)×(Formula presented) W/(Formula presented), the evaporated species are also ionized. The observed phenomenon can be attributed to higher multiphoton ionization and inverse bremsstrahlung rate as the laser intensity is increased. For the second issue, films deposited at various intensities have been characterized by ellipsometry. Results show that films deposited at low intensity are found to have excellent optical transparency ((Formula presented) =2.3 eV), which implies a considerable amount of (Formula presented) bonds. However, films deposited at higher intensities are found to be more graphitic. The damage threshold has also been located at 3.7×(Formula presented) W/(Formula presented) . A qualitative structural analysis based on the effective-medium approximation has been performed on the deposited films to investigate the influence of laser intensity on their microstructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13213-13220
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number19
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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