Synthesis and characterisation of carbon nitride thin films

I. Widlow*, Y. W. Chung

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Theoretical studies of β-C3N4 and other crystalline carbon nitride structures indicate that several crystalline phases are metastable, with high bulk modulus values. There are many reports of successful synthesis of some crystalline carbon nitride phases. In spite of questionable data analysis in a significant number of such reports, there is sufficient evidence in the literature to indicate that some nanocrystalline carbon nitride phases have been synthesised. Usually, such crystalline phases are embedded in an amorphous carbon nitride matrix. Amorphous carbon nitride films can be synthesised readily using many different techniques and are dominated by sp2 carbon bonding, along with strong evidence of carbon-nitrogen bonding. Above a certain deposition temperature, fullerene-like structures can be formed with high hardness and excellent elastic recovery in nanoindentation testing. These thin films display excellent wear performance compared with carbon and hydrogenated carbon films under a wide range of tribological conditions. They are now widely used as protective overcoats in computer disk drive systems. In conclusion, several potential areas for future research in carbon nitride are suggested.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Materials Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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