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The Role of Ambient Gas and Pressure on the Structuring of Hard Diamond-Like Carbon Films Synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition

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National Institute for Lasers, Plasma and Radiation Physics, 409 Atomistilor Street, Magurele RO-077125, Romania
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National Institute of Materials Physics, 105bis Atomistilor Street, Magurele RO-077125, Romania
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Faculty of Applied Chemistry and Materials Science, University Politehnica from Bucharest, 1–7 Gh. Polizu Street, Bucharest RO-011061, Romania
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National Institute for Research and Development in Microtechnologies, 126A Erou Iancu Nicolae Street, Voluntari RO-077190, Romania
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Laboratory of Advanced Materials Processing, EMPA-Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, 39 Feuerwerkerstrasse, Thun CH-3602, Switzerland
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Institute of Theoretical Physics, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg D-09596, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jung Ho Je
Materials 2015, 8(6), 3284-3305; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma8063284
Received: 30 April 2015 / Revised: 26 May 2015 / Accepted: 29 May 2015 / Published: 5 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
Hard carbon thin films were synthesized on Si (100) and quartz substrates by the Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) technique in vacuum or methane ambient to study their suitability for applications requiring high mechanical resistance. The deposited films’ surface morphology was investigated by scanning electron microscopy, crystalline status by X-ray diffraction, packing and density by X-ray reflectivity, chemical bonding by Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, adherence by “pull-out” measurements and mechanical properties by nanoindentation tests. Films synthesized in vacuum were a-C DLC type, while films synthesized in methane were categorized as a-C:H. The majority of PLD films consisted of two layers: one low density layer towards the surface and a higher density layer in contact with the substrate. The deposition gas pressure played a crucial role on films thickness, component layers thickness ratio, structure and mechanical properties. The films were smooth, amorphous and composed of a mixture of sp3-sp2 carbon, with sp3 content ranging between 50% and 90%. The thickness and density of the two constituent layers of a film directly determined its mechanical properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: hard carbon thin films; pulsed laser deposition; double stratification; buffer layer; adherence improvement hard carbon thin films; pulsed laser deposition; double stratification; buffer layer; adherence improvement
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Popescu, A.C.; Stan, G.E.; Duta, L.; Nita, C.; Popescu, C.; Surdu, V.-A.; Husanu, M.-A.; Bita, B.; Ghisleni, R.; Himcinschi, C.; Craciun, V. The Role of Ambient Gas and Pressure on the Structuring of Hard Diamond-Like Carbon Films Synthesized by Pulsed Laser Deposition. Materials 2015, 8, 3284-3305.

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