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Comparison of Conductivity Produced in Polymers and Carbon Films by Pyrolysis and High Energy Ion Irradiation

  • T. Venkatesan (a1), R. C. Dynes (a1), B. Wilkens (a1), A. E. White (a1), J. M. Gibson (a1) and R. Hamm (a1)...


The electrical properties of pyrolyzed polymers have been studied recently.1,2 It has been shown that organic, polymeric3 and non-polymeric4 films can be made conductive (ρ ~ 10−3Ωcm) by ion beam irradiation. Common to all of the films was the presence of carbon as a constituent element and both pyrolysis and ion beam irradiation3 was shown to increase the relative carbon content of the films. The ion beam irradiated organic films 3,4 exhibited a temperature dependence of their resistivity of the form ρ(T) = ρ∞e−(TЛ)*, where ρ is the ion-induced resistivity, ρ∞ and T0 are constants and T is the temperature. At very high doses of irradiation (1017cm−2Ar+@ 2MeV) the film resistivity was temperature independent. Very similar transport properties were observed in the pyrolyzed polymers1 as well, though the lowest resistivities achieved were higher than the resistivity values observed in the ion irradiated3 polymer films. In both the pyrolysis and ion-irradiation experiments the temperature dependence has been explained by a model due to Sheng and Abeles,5 which involves charge transport by hopping between conducting islands embedded in an insulating matrix. Such striking similarities between two distinctly different modes of energy deposition in the films, prompted us to compare the effects of pyrolysis and ion irradiation in different carbon containing films. We compared both a polymer (HPR-204°) and a film of electron beam evaporated carbon film. While in the former case one would observe chemical degradation as well as structural modification, by studying pure carbon films the physical nature of the processes could be clarified. We report metallic carrier densities in both films and evidence for significant structural rearrangement. We conclude that pyrolysis and ion beam irradiation have similar effects on both polymer and carbon films.



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