Diamond Like Carbon (Dlc) Films (a Primer)

In: Science

Submitted By chcastan
Words 2213
Pages 9
ABSTRACT
Simplified mechanisms are presented for the growth of DLC films. The role of hydrogen and oxygen in the deposition is mentioned and detailed reactions are shown for one of the existing models of amorphous hydrogenated carbon film growth (a-C:H). The subplantation process for hydrogen free amorphous carbon (a-C) is discussed. A simple application example for the growth of a-C:H film using an oxygen-acetylene torch is included.

INTRODUCTION
Several review papers portray the preparation and state of the art of DLC films [1-5]. There are basically two different types of DLC films: amorphous hydrogenated carbon (a-C:H), and amorphous carbon (a-C). They are differentiated on the number of sp3 (diamond like) vs. sp2 (graphite like) bonds, and the role that hydrogen (or OH) plays in the formation and structure of the film. A diamond like structure exists when sp3 bonds form between carbon atoms during the growing of a carbon film. The sp3 fraction is defined as: (Eq. 1)
As the sp3 fraction increases the film tend more towards diamond properties and behavior. Diamond is a crystal with sp3 fraction of 1.

The first kind of DLC, that we will refer to as Amorphous Hydrogenated Carbon (a-C:H), hydrogen plays a fundamental role. A diamond like structure will not form without the presence of hydrogen, which can have a concentration up to 50% (atomic) of the final film obtained. The sp3 fraction in a-C:H films is usually less than 50%. There are an assortment of techniques used to deposit a-C:H films [1], all essentially based on chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The more common ones are: hot filament CVD, microwave plasma CVD, plasma jet, arc jet, plasma torch, and even the simple oxyacetylene welding torch [6]. All these techniques work by activating the gas phase carbon-containing precursor. The precursor (say CH4) has to be diluted in an excess of…...

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