Investigation of the growth mechanisms of a–CHx coatings deposited by pulsed reactive magnetron sputtering

Maria Carmen Lopez Santos, Julien Colaux, S. Lucas, J.C. Gonzalez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of the growth mechanisms of amorphous hydrogenated carbon coatings (a-CH ) deposited by reactive pulsed magnetron discharge in Ar + C H , Ar + H , and Ar + C H + H low-pressure atmospheres is presented in this work. Hydrogen-containing species of the reactant gas affect the microstructure and surface properties of the a-CH thin films. The dynamic scaling theory has been used to relate the main reactive species involved in the deposition process to the growth mechanisms of the thin film by means of the analysis of the roughness evolution. Anomalous scaling effects have been observed in smooth a-CH coatings. Dynamic scaling exponents α, β, and z indicate a general growth controlled by surface diffusion mechanisms. Hydrogen species have an influence on the lateral growth of the a-CH coatings and are involved in the development of a polymeric-like structure. Meanwhile, hydrocarbon species promote the generation of higher aggregates, which increases the roughness of a more sp clustering structure of the a-CH coating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12017-12026
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of physical chemistry. C
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2012

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