Investigation of radio frequency plasma for the growth of diamond like carbon films

Ishpal; Kumar, Sushil; Dwivedi, Neeraj; Rauthan, C. M. S.
March 2012
Physics of Plasmas;Mar2012, Vol. 19 Issue 3, p033515
Academic Journal
The radio frequency has been used to generate plasma of argon, acetylene gases, and their mixture should be replaced by mixture in a plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition system. The generated plasma discharge has been characterized by an impedance analyzer (VI probe) for the evaluation of various electrical parameters of the plasma discharge such as rf-voltage, rf-current, phase, impedance, and actual power consumed by the plasma discharge. These plasma parameters have been analyzed as a function of self-bias, which are found to depend on applied power, pressure, and reactor geometry of the system. Subsequently, same plasma conditions were used for the deposition of diamond like carbon (DLC) films. The argon plasma has lowest impedance (16.02 Ω) value and highest average electron density (2.77 × 1010 cm-3) value at -150 V self-bias. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy measurements have been performed on the prepared DLC films for the evaluation of the chemical bonding. XPS studies have been used for the evaluation of sp3 and sp2 contents. The film deposited at -150 V self-bias has the highest values of sp3 content (60.97 at. %), band gap, nanohardness, elastic modulus, plastic index parameter, and elastic recovery, and the lowest value of sp2 content (27.27 at. %) among the films chosen for the present investigation. These DLC films properties were found to be well correlating with the evaluated plasma parameters.


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