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Elastic Constants of Diamond Like Carbon Films by Surface Brillouin Scattering

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 February 2011

A. C. Ferrari
Affiliation:
Engineering Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1 PZ, UK
J. Robertson
Affiliation:
Engineering Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge CB2 1 PZ, UK
R. Pastorelli
Affiliation:
INFM- Dip. di Ingegneria Nucleare, Politecnico di Milano, 1-20133 Milano, ITALY
M. G. Beghi
Affiliation:
INFM- Dip. di Ingegneria Nucleare, Politecnico di Milano, 1-20133 Milano, ITALY
C. E. Bottani
Affiliation:
INFM- Dip. di Ingegneria Nucleare, Politecnico di Milano, 1-20133 Milano, ITALY
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Abstract

The elastic constants of thin Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) films supply important information, but their measurement is difficult. Standard nanoindentation does not directly measure the elastic constants and has strong limitations particularly in the case of hard thin films on softer substrates, such as tetrahedral amorphous carbon on Si. Surface acoustic waves provide a better mean to investigate elastic properties. Surface Brillouin scattering (SBS) intrinsically probes acoustic waves of the wavelength which is appropriate to test the properties of films in the tens to hundreds of nanometers thickness range. SBS can be used to derive all the isotropic elastic constants of hard-on-soft and soft-on-hard amorphous carbon films of different kinds, with thickness down to less than 10 nm. The results help to resolve the previous uncertainties in mechanical data. The Young's modulus of tetrahedral amorphous carbon (ta-C) turns out to be lower than that of diamond, while the moduli of hydrogenated ta-C (ta-C:H) are considerably lower than those of ta-C because of the weakening effect of C-H bonding.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2000

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