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Hydrogen softening and optical transparency in Si-incorporated hydrogenated amorphous carbon films

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6 Author(s)
Abbas, G.A. ; Nanotechnology Research Institute, School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, University of Ulster, Shore road, Newtownabbey BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom ; Papakonstantinou, P. ; McLaughlin, J.A. ; Weijers-Dall, T.D.M.
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High-resolution x-ray reflectivity (XRR) and heavy-ion elastic recoil detection were employed to study the role of hydrogen on the softening behavior observed in Si-incorporated hydrogenated amorphous carbon (Si-a-C:H) films synthesized by plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor deposition using tetramethylsilane (TMS) precursor in C2H2/Ar plasma. An enhancement of the optical band gap and a massive reduction in the density of the films prepared at high TMS flow rate were revealed, respectively, by spectroscopic ellipsometry and XRR analysis with the development of a double critical angle. A hydrogenation process was responsible for a rise in the density of voids and an associated reduction in the connectivity of the carbon network and the release of its residual stress.

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Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:98 ,  Issue: 10 )