Formation of CNx layers in a nitrogen glow discharge with graphite electrodes

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The formation of CNx layers has been investigated in a DC nitrogen glow discharge with graphite electrodes. The optical emission spectra show only features of CN radicals, besides the strong bands of neutral and ionised nitrogen molecules. The CN radicals have a high rotational temperature, ranging between 9000 and 13,500K, for different discharge conditions, which is far from the gas temperature (340-470K, determined from the rotational spectrum of N2+ molecules). Our measurements show that the vibrational temperature of CN radicals in the B state equals their rotational temperature. Unlike in previous CNx deposition experiments, a strong perturbation of rotational lines from the CN(A) state is also observed, indicating that a significant part of CN molecules is initially formed in the A state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-319
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 13 2002



  • CN layers
  • Gas discharges
  • Optical emission spectra
  • Rotational temperature
  • Vibrational temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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