Optical and electrical properties of amorphous carbon films deposited using filtered cathodic vacuum arc with pulse biasing

J. Y. Sze, B. K. Tay, D. Sheeja, Shu Ping Lau, Y. Q. Fu, Daniel H.C. Chua, W. I. Milne

Research output: Journal article publicationConference articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Passive devices using metal containing amorphous (a-C) films have been successfully fabricated. However, difficulties in the etching of these films as well as their inferior inertness compared to pure a-C films led us to study the electrical and optical properties of pure a-C films. The films were deposited using a filtered cathodic vacuum arc system (FCVA) in conjunction with high substrate pulse biasing. It is possible to control the sp2content and hence the properties, by varying the substrate pulse bias voltage. In this study, the a-C films were prepared by varying the high substrate bias between 3 and 11 kV using a Plasma immersion ion implantation (PI3) system. Characterization of these samples gives us an indication about the suitability of the films for integrated passive devices and other applications. Four-point probe measurement has been carried out to study the resistivity of the films deposited on quartz and SiO2. The resistivity decreases with increasing pulse bias voltage, which is likely attributed to the sp2fraction in the film as well as the substrates' resistivity. The sp2content in the films is estimated using XPS and Raman spectroscopy. Optical properties of the films are characterized using spectroscopic phase-modulated ellipsometry. The band gap decreases from 2.3 to 1.49 with increasing bias voltage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalThin Solid Films
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 30th International Conference on Metallurgie - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 28 Apr 20022 May 2002


  • Amorphous carbon
  • Electrical and optical properties
  • Filtered cathodic vacuum arc
  • Plasma ion immersion implantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry

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