Optical, mechanical and surface properties of amorphous carbonaceous thin films obtained by plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition and plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition

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Diverse amorphous hydrogenated carbon-based films (a-C:H, a-C:H:F, a-C:H:N, a-C:H:Cl and a-C:H:Si:O) were obtained by radiofrequency plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition (PIIID). The same precursors were used in the production of each pair of each type of film, such as a-C:H, using both PECVD and PIIID. Optical properties, namely the refractive index, n, absorption coefficient, α, and optical gap, ETauc, of these films were obtained via transmission spectra in the ultraviolet-visible near-infrared range (wavelengths from 300 to 3300 nm). Film hardness, elastic modulus and stiffness were obtained as a function of depth using nano-indentation. Surface energy values were calculated from liquid drop contact angle data. Film roughness and morphology were assessed using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The PIIID films were usually thinner and possessed higher refractive indices than the PECVD films. Determined refractive indices are consistent with literature values for similar types of films. Values of ETauc were increased in the PIIID films compared to the PECVD films. An exception was the a-C:H:Si:O films, for which that obtained by PIIID was thicker and exhibited a decreased ETauc. The mechanical properties - hardness, elastic modulus and stiffness - of films produced by PECVD and PIIID generally present small differences. An interesting effect is the increase in the hardness of a-C:H:Cl films from 1.0 to 3.0 GPa when ion implantation is employed. Surface energy correlates well with surface roughness. The implanted films are usually smoother than those obtained by PECVD. ©2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.




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Applied Surface Science, v. 280, p. 474-481.

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