X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic study of magnetron sputtered carbon-nickel composite films

Gy J. Kovács, I. Bertóti, G. Radnóczi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

61 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon-nickel films were deposited by direct current magnetron sputtering in argon plasma at temperatures between 25 and 800 °C. The films have a composite structure, consisting of a nanocrystalline dispersed phase embedded in an amorphous carbon matrix as revealed by high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Based on selected area electron diffraction, the crystalline phase was assigned to hexagonal nickel carbide (Ni3C) for films grown below 400 °C and to face centered cubic nickel for those prepared above 400 °C. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic studies verify these results. In films deposited below 400 °C the carbon 1s spectral range contains two low binding energy components at 283.2 and at 281.5 eV (± 0.2 eV). While the peak at 281.5 eV corresponds to the carbidic environment, the component at 283.2 eV, existing also in high temperature samples, is assigned to carbon atoms constituting the interface between the carbon matrix and the Ni3C or Ni crystallites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7942-7946
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2008



  • Carbon-metal composite
  • Carbon-nickel composite film
  • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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