X-ray reflectivity study of tetrahedral amorphous carbon films

B. K. Tay, X. Shi, Shu Ping Lau, Q. Zhang, H. C. Chua, J. R. Shi, E. C. Lim, H. Y. Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Hydrogen-free amorphous carbon films were deposited at different deposition bias voltage on a single silicon wafer by a process known as Filtered Cathodic Vacuum Arc (FCVA). The influences of different deposition bias voltages on the microstructure and the properties of thin tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) films, such as surface roughness, film mass density and thickness, have been studied by means of the x-ray reflectivity technique (XRR) for the first time. The microstructure of these films deposited on silicon wafers was simulated by a four-layer model consisting of a ta-C layer, a mixed ta-C:Si layer, Si-O layer and the silicon substrate. The mixed ta-C:Si layer consisting of the mixture of ta-C and silicon simulates the carbon ion impinging / diffusion into the surface of the silicon substrate. The mass density and the roughness of the film are found to be dependent on the impinging ion bombardment energy. The mass density increases with increase in ion bombardment energy up to 100 eV. Beyond 100 eV, the mass density decreases with further increase in ion bombardment energy. The surface roughness decreases with increasing ion bombardment energy to a minimum value at 100 eV, after which it increases with further increase in ion bombardment energy. The thickness of the films obtained by XRR technique correlates well with the thickness measurement obtained by spectral reflectometry. The existence of the Si-O layer was verified by Auger depth profiling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-187
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics B
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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