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Title: Ion irradiation induced structural modifications and increase in elastic modulus of silica based thin films

Ion irradiation is an alternative to heat treatment for transforming organic-inorganic thin films to a ceramic state. One major shortcoming in previous studies of ion-irradiated films is the assumption that constituent phases in ion-irradiated and heat-treated films are identical and that the ion irradiation effect is limited to changes in composition. Here, we investigate the effects of ion irradiation on both the composition and structure of constituent phases and use the results to explain the measured elastic modulus of the films. Our results indicated that the microstructure of the irradiated films consisted of carbon clusters within a silica matrix. It was found that carbon was present in a non-graphitic sp 2-bonded configuration. It was also observed that ion irradiation caused a decrease in the Si-O-Si bond angle of silica, similar to the effects of applied pressure. A phase transformation from tetrahedrally bonded to octahedrally bonded silica was also observed. The results indicated the incorporation of carbon within the silica network. Finally, a combination of the decrease in Si-O-Si bond angle and an increase in the carbon incorporation within the silica network was found to be responsible for the increase in the elastic modulus of the films.
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  1. Oklahoma State Univ., Stillwater, OK (United States). School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States). Materials Science and Technology Division
  3. Foundation Inst. of Materials Engineering, Bremen (Germany)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396; OISE-0352377; OISE-0128050
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC). Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; glasses; mechanical properties; structure of solids and liquids; surfaces, interfaces and thin films
OSTI Identifier: