Ion implantation induced phase transformation in carbon and boron nitride thin films

T. W.H. Oates, L. Ryves, F. A. Burgmann, B. Abendroth, M. M.M. Bilek, David Robert McKenzie, D. G. McCulloch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The mechanism behind energetic ion impact induced stress reduction in highly stressed tetrahedral amorphous carbon and cubic boron nitride thin films is investigated by real time in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry and ex situ electron microscopy. Highly stressed carbon and boron nitride films were grown by filtered cathodic vacuum arc and RF magnetron sputtering, respectively. The films were then implanted by 5-10 keV argon ions and the film optical properties and thickness monitored in situ by spectroscopic ellipsometry. In both cases the films were observed to expand due to a reduction in the density of the ion-modified layer. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy of the carbon films showed that this reduction in density is associated with a conversion of diamond-like bonding to graphite-like bonding. In situ stress measurements performed on the boron nitride films revealed a simultaneous reduction in stress with expansion of the material.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSMAC '04 Conference Proceedings 2004
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventSpecialist Meeting on Amorphous Carbon 2004 - Povo di Trento, Italy
Duration: 9 Sept 200410 Sept 2004
Conference number: 5th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameDiamond and Related Materials
ISSN (Print)0925-9635


ConferenceSpecialist Meeting on Amorphous Carbon 2004
Abbreviated titleSMAC 2004
CityPovo di Trento
Internet address


  • Ellipsometry
  • Ion implantation
  • Stress

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