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Title: Growth mechanism and composition of ultrasmooth a-C:H:Si films grown from energetic ions for superlubricity

Growth mechanism and ion energy dependence of composition of ultrasmooth a-C:H:Si films grown from ionization of tetramethylsilane (TMS) and toluene mixture at a fixed gas ratio have been investigated by varying the applied bias voltage. The dynamic scaling theory is employed to evaluate the roughness evolution of a-C:H:Si films, and to extract roughness and growth exponents of α ∼ 0.51 and β ∼ 0, respectively. The atomically smooth surface of a-C:H:Si films with Ra ∼ 0.1 nm is thermally activated by the energetic ion-impact induced subsurface “polishing” process for ion dominated deposition. The ion energy (bias voltage) plays a paramount role in determining the hydrogen incorporation, bonding structure and final stoichiometry of a-C:H:Si films. The hydrogen content in the films measured by ERDA gradually decreases from 36.7 to 17.3 at. % with increasing the bias voltage from 0.25 to 3.5 kV, while the carbon content in the films increases correspondingly from 52.5 to 70.1 at. %. The Si content is kept almost constant at ∼9–10 at. %. Depending on the ion-surface interactions, the bonding structure of a-C:H:Si films grown in different ion energy regions evolves from chain-developed polymer-like to cross-linked diamond-like to sp{sup 2}-bonded a–C as revealed by XPS, Raman, and FTIR analysis. Such a structural evolution ismore » reflected in their measured nanomechanical properties such as hardness, modulus, and compressive stress. An enhanced viscoplastic behavior (i.e., viscoplastic exponent of ∼0.06) is observed for polymeric a-C:H:Si films. A hydrogen content threshold (H > 20 at. %) exists for the as-grown a-C:H:Si films to exhibit superlow friction in dry N{sub 2} atmosphere. An extremely low friction coefficient of ∼0.001 can be obtained for polymer-like a-C:H:Si film. These near-frictionless a-C:H:Si films are strongly promising for applications in industrial lubricating systems.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8656 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22275634
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; CRYSTAL GROWTH; DEPOSITION; DIAMONDS; ELECTRIC POTENTIAL; ENERGY DEPENDENCE; FOURIER TRANSFORMATION; FRICTION FACTOR; HARDNESS; HYDROGEN; INFRARED SPECTRA; POLYMERS; RAMAN SPECTROSCOPY; ROUGHNESS; SILICON; TAIL IONS; THIN FILMS; TOLUENE; X-RAY PHOTOELECTRON SPECTROSCOPY