Materials science: The ultrasmoothness of diamond-like carbon surfaces

Michael Moseler, Peter Cumbsch, Cinzia Casiraghi, Andrea C. Ferrari, John Robertson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The ultrasmoothness of diamond-like carbon coatings is explained by an atomistic/continuum multiscale model. At the atomic scale, carbon ion impacts induce downhill currents in the top layer of a growing film. At the continuum scale, these currents cause a rapid smoothing of initially rough substrates by erosion of hills into neighboring hollows. The predicted surface evolution is in excellent agreement with atomic force microscopy measurements. This mechanism is general, as shown by similar simulations for amorphous silicon. It explains the recently reported smoothing of multilayers and amorphous transition metal oxide films and underlines the general importance of impact-induced downhill currents for ion deposition, polishing, and nanopattering.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1545-1548
    Number of pages3
    Issue number5740
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2005


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