Synthesis, composition, surface roughness and mechanical properties of thin nitrogenated carbon films

Wai Chung Chan*, Beizhi Zhou, Yip Wah Chung, C. S. Lee, S. T. Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this study, we explored the properties of amorphous nitrogenated carbon films grown in a standard magnetron sputter-deposition system without a magnetic trap. Silicon wafers and hard disk substrates were used. To simplify process control, we operated the graphite target at constant voltage and used 3% nitrogen in argon from a premixed feed. Under these conditions, most nitrogenated carbon films contain about 6-8 a/o of nitrogen. Films with the highest hardness values (28 GPa) and lowest root-mean-square surface roughness (0.2 nm on hard disk substrates) were obtained at low sputtering pressure (5 mTorr) and large substrate pulse bias (-300 V). These observations demonstrate the importance of ion bombardment in controlling film morphology and properties. The harder films appear to have better resistance against scratch damage, as is demonstrated by the nano-scratch tests using a two-dimensional nanoindentor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1911
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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