Carbon nitride films fabricated by ablating a graphite target in an N2 atmosphere possess a high affinity for hydrogen incorporation. The differences in both the absolute values and the depth distribution of hydrogen within the films correlate well with changes in mass density. The dense films, deposited at and below 5 Pa N2 pressure, contain 1.6-3.4 at.% hydrogen with two maxima in the depth distribution, namely one near the surface and another one at the substrate-film interface, suggesting both in situ and ex situ incorporation. Significantly higher hydrogen contents (12.8-16.45 at.%) uniformly distributed throughout the whole thickness characterize the less dense films grown in the 50-100-Pa pressure domain. These films are hydrogenated ex situ as a consequence of the penetration of hydrogen from the atmospheric air through their open structure. The hydrogen content of the unintentionally hydrogenated carbon nitride films is a sensitive indicator of the changes in film microstructure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Materials Chemistry
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering