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High rate deposition of amorphous hydrogenated carbon films by hollow cathode arc PECVD

: Zimmermann, Burkhard; Fietzke, Fred; Klostermann, Heidrun; Lehmann, Jan; Munnik, Frans; Möller, Wolfhard


Surface and coatings technology 212 (2012), pp.67-71
ISSN: 0257-8972
Journal Article
Fraunhofer FEP ()
hollow cathode arc; plasma diagnostic; amorphous hydrogenated carbon; diamond-like carbon; plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition; elastic recoil detection analysis

The potential of a magnetically enhanced hollow cathode arc source for high rate PECVD processes has been evaluated for amorphous hydrogenated carbon film (a-C:H) deposition from acetylene precursor gas. The argon-acetylene plasma has been characterized by energy-resolved mass spectrometry revealing a large variety of dissociation and polymerization products as well as their kinetic energy distributions, which are related to the spatial distribution of ion generation. a-C:H layers have been deposited on flat substrates with rates of up to 1 µm/min. Depending on the deposition conditions, polymeric, graphitic, and diamond-like carbon films with a maximum nanoindentation hardness of 18.2 GPa have been produced and analyzed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, elastic recoil detection analysis and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry.