Effect of the substrate temperature on the physical characteristics of amorphous carbon films deposited by d.c. magnetron sputtering

E. Mounier, F. Bertin, M. Adamik, Y. Pauleau, P. B. Barna

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The growth rate, composition, electrical resistivity, mass density, refractive index and microstructure of amorphous carbon (a-C) films prepared by direct current (d.c.) magnetron sputtering were investigated as functions of the substrate temperature (50-350°C). The hydrogen content determined by elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA) and the electrical resistivity of films were found to be dependent on both the base pressure in the deposition chamber and substrate temperature. For films deposited below 200°C, the hydrogen content was less than 2 at.% and the substrate temperature was the only parameter which affected their electrical resistivity. The electrical resistivity decreased from 0.2 to 0.03 Ωcm as the substrate temperature increased from 50 to 200°C. The mass density of films evaluated from Rutherford backscattering (RBS) data and film thickness decreased from 2.2 to 1.4 g cm-3 with increasing substrate temperature. A linear relationship between the refractive index and the mass density of a-C films was clearly established. From the optical measurements, the decrease in mass density was correlated to an increase in porosity of films with increasing substrate temperature. The decrease in electrical resistivity with increasing substrate temperature was attributed to a graphitization of a-C films. This modification of the microstructure of a-C films as the deposition temperature was varied from 50 to 350°C was observed by examination of the cross-section of samples by transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectroscopic analyses of a-C films.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1515
Number of pages7
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 1996



  • Amorphous carbon
  • Characterization
  • Microstructure
  • Physical vapor deposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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