Simulation of growth of tetrahedrally bonded amorphous carbon films by high energy ions


Simulation of growth of tetrahedrally bonded amorphous carbon films by high energy ions

Schultrich, B.; Jäger, H.-U.

The extremely broad structural variability of carbon films is based on the competition of trigonal sp2 bonds leading to layered structures (as in graphite) and tetrahedral sp3 bonds leading to three-dimensional networks (as in diamond). These complementary structures may be combined in amorphous carbon films as they are produced by highly activated ion or plasma beams. Amorphous films with up to 80% diamond bonds and corresponding hardness has been realized in this way. The necessary deposition conditions are qualitatively well known: high particle energy, low deposition temperature, not too grazing incidence.
To understand the film growth on a quantitative level molecular dynamics has been used. For this purpose the empirical interaction potential of Brenner has been modified to describe film formation by hyperthermal species. By optimised codes and long-time calculations of several months, it was for the first time possible to simulate the stationary growth of carbon films of several nanometer thickness. The film structure (interface, diamond-like bulk film, graphitic top layer) has been quantitatively analyzed in dependence on particle energy and temperature.
Based on these fundamental studies a simplified model for the film formation has been developed. It describes the formation of the different carbon structures (characterized by the density or the corresponding sp2 : sp3 ratio) as a competition of subplantation and relaxation, so it becomes possible to quantify the influence of more complex technological parameters like beam energy distribution and thermal transport. The characteristic tendencies extracted from these technological maps are discussed and compared to experimental results.

  • Lecture (Conference)
    8th Conference on Plasma Surface Engineering, Sept. 9 - 13, 2002, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

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Publ.-Id: 4980