Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 January 2011
A novel method was developed for low-temperature preparation of thin films. Pulsed laser ablation was combined with electron cyclotron resonance microwave discharge, constituting a novel hybrid film preparation method called electron cyclotron resonance plasma–assisted reactive pulsed laser deposition. We demonstrated the feasibility of the method by preparing compound films of silicon nitride, silicon dioxide, and aluminum nitride from elemental starting materials. The mechanisms responsible for efficient compound formation and film growth are discussed, together with characterization of the prepared films, analysis of the plasma composition, and comparison of the films prepared with and without assistance of the plasma. The unique features of the method make it suitable for one-step preparation of compound thin films at low temperatures.
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