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F: Elektrotechnik und MedientechnikI: IQMA
Surface and electron emission properties of hydrogen-free diamond-like carbon films investigated by atomic force microscopy
Materials Science & Engineering A, vol. 426, no. 1-2, pp. 114-120
In this study, we have deposited hydrogen-free diamond-like carbon (DLC) films by using DC magnetron sputtering of graphite target at various r.f. bias voltages. Surface and nanoscale emission properties of these DLC films have been investigated using a combination of atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based nanowear tests and conducting-AFM, by simultaneously measuring the topography and the conductivity of the samples. Nanowear tests show that these DLC films are covered with the thin (1.5–2.0 nm) graphite-like layers at surfaces. Compared to the film bulk structure, the graphite-like surface layers are more conductive. The graphite-like surface layers significantly influence the electron emission properties of these films. Low-energy carbon species can be responsible for the formation of graphite-like surface layers. Nanoscale electron emission measurements have revealed the inhomogeneous emission nature of these films. The low-field emission from these films can be attributed to the existence of sp2-configured nanoclusters inside the films.