Nanostructure and paramagnetic centres in diamond-like carbon: Effect of Ar dilution in PECVD process

B J Jones, S Wright, R C Barklie, J Tyas, J Franks, A J Reynolds

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Diamond-like carbon ({DLC}) films were deposited utilising plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition ({PECVD}) with acetylene precursor, diluted with 0-45\% argon. Electron paramagnetic resonance ({EPR}) measurements show the presence of one paramagnetic centre with no change in spin population over the range of film deposition conditions. However, the {EPR} linewidth decreases with increasing argon content of the precursor mix, suggesting an enhancement of motional narrowing due to an increase in electron delocalization, related to an increase in the sp2 cluster size. Atomic force microscopy ({AFM}) measurements indicate that the surface of the {DLC} is formed of nanoscale asperities of material. With radii of tens of nanometres for films deposited with zero argon, the size of the features increases with the argon dilution of the acetylene. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis and electrical measurements further elucidate the changes in film structure. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1629-1632
    Number of pages4
    JournalDiamond and Related Materials
    Issue number7-10
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Acetylene
    • Argon
    • Carbon films
    • Chemical vapour deposition
    • Defects
    • Diamond films
    • Diamond-like carbon
    • Diamond like carbon films
    • Diamonds
    • Electron-delocalization
    • Electron paramagnetic resonance
    • Electron resonance
    • Electron spin resonance spectroscopy
    • Film deposition
    • Inert gases
    • Lighting
    • Magnetism
    • Nano structuring
    • Paramagnetic materials
    • Paramagnetic resonance
    • Paramagnetism
    • Plasma CVD
    • Plasma deposition
    • Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition
    • Quantum theory
    • Spin population
    • Surface characterization


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