AIP Digital Archive
Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
A computer-controlled rotating polarizer ellipsometer, operating in the infrared spectral region between 3.00 and 3.75 μm, has been developed for in situ characterization of amorphous hydrocarbon (a-C:H) thin films, deposited from methane in a rf plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition reactor. Spectroscopic IR ellipsometry permits insight into the chemical bonding structure of a-C:H coatings by the nondestructive detection of infrared stimulated C:H stretch vibrations. It is shown that the sp2CHx/sp3 CHx ratio, the content of bonded hydrogen, the infrared linewidth, and the real refractive index of the films depend on the negative self-bias voltage, which is formed at the samples during the deposition process. A transition from a-C:H films with polymerlike properties to hard a-C:H films was attained at a self-bias voltage of approximately −75 V.
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