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Structural Investigations of HiPIMS-deposited Diamond-Like Carbon Thin Films using Raman Spectroscopy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Solid State Electronics.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Diamond-like carbon (DLC) is a versatile material which exhibits excellentmechanical, electrical and optical properties making it suitable for applications rangingfrom biomedical implants to engine components. The properties of DLC thin films aredetermined by the bonding configuration (sp3/sp2 fraction) of its carbon atoms. Inorder to prepare DLC thin films for desired applications, it is essential to control andestimate the sp3/sp2 fraction precisely.

Raman spectroscopy is widely employed for the estimation of sp3/sp2 fraction due toits non-destructive nature, high probing depth and possibility of quick acquisition. Thequality of information obtained from Raman analysis depends largely on the structureof DLC thin films, which varies from one deposition method to another. Using theexisting approaches for the estimation of sp3/sp2 fraction for a particular type of DLCthin films could entail large errors and thereby result in misleading conclusions. For anaccurate analysis of the film structure, it is therefore important that a carefullydesigned strategy is employed. In this work, Raman spectroscopy is employed forstructural investigation of DLC thin films deposited by High Power ImpulseMagnetron Sputtering (HiPIMS). Owing to the unique DLC film properties obtainedfrom HiPIMS, Raman spectroscopic investigations were made by developing ananalysis routine relevant for HiPIMS-deposited films. The developed approach isvalidated by complementary analysis of film density. The method is further employedfor investigating the compressive stress and thermal stability of the resulting films. Theanalyzed films were deposited using different buffer gas (Ar and Ne) and ion energy toproduce a range of sp2/sp3 ratios. Raman measurements were performed using visible(532 nm) and UV (325 nm) lasers. Film density was determined using X-RayReflectivity (XRR) and chemical composition using Elastic Recoil Detection Analysis(ERDA). The compressive stresses of the films were determined usingwafer-curvature method and thermal stability of the films was investigated byperforming Raman measurements on films annealed from 100 degrees C to 600degrees C.

By developing an analysis routine and employing appropriate fitting method, it wasshown that the Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM) of the G peak in the Ramanspectrum is the most relevant parameter for estimating the sp3/sp2 fraction. Theaccuracy of the analysis routine was verified by studying the evolution of sp3/sp2fraction and film density with respect to ion energy. The correlation between sp3/sp2fraction and film density was good. The differences in mass density and compressivestresses between Ar- and Ne-HiPIMS deposited films were also found to beconsistent with the estimated sp3/sp2 fractions. The structural evolution of theannealed films, investigated by Raman spectroscopy, showed that the Ne-HiPIMS filmsexhibit a transition from sp3 rich structure to sp2 rich structure at ~450 degrees Cwhereas the transition for the Ar-HiPIMS films occurs at ~300 degrees C. This impliesthat the Ne-HiPIMS films are thermally more stable than the Ar-HiPIMS films.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 43 p.
Series
UPTEC Q, ISSN 1401-5773 ; 17005
National Category
Other Materials Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-322376OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-322376DiVA: diva2:1096947
Educational program
Master Programme in Materials Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-05-23 Created: 2017-05-19 Last updated: 2017-05-23Bibliographically approved

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