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Nanostructural study of the thermal transformation of diamond-like amorphous carbon into an ultrahard carbon nanocomposite

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3 Author(s)
Martı nez-Miranda, L.J. ; Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742-2115 ; Siegal, M.P. ; Provencio, P.P.

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We studied the structural transformation of diamond-like amorphous carbon (a-C) films into ultrahard carbon nanocomposites via postannealing to 600 °C using transmission electron microscopy, x-ray reflectivity, and small-angle scattering. Film density decreases monotonically above 200 °C. Film surfaces roughen upon annealing to 300 °C; however, a-C recovers its smoothness with higher temperature annealing. Finally, there exists some quasiperiodic nanostructural feature with a lattice spacing that increases with annealing, correlating well with purely a-C nanocomposite structures imaged from samples annealed at 600 °C. We propose that these annealing-induced nanostructural changes are a derivative of localized stress fields in as-grown a-C films. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Applied Physics Letters  (Volume:79 ,  Issue: 4 )