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Bias in bonding behavior among boron, carbon, and nitrogen atoms in ion implanted a-BN, a-BC, and diamond like carbon films

Genisel, Mustafa Fatih
Uddin, Md Nizam
Say, Zafer
Kulakci, Mustafa
Turan, Raşit
BENGÜ, Erman
In this study, we implanted N+ and N-2(+) ions into sputter deposited amorphous boron carbide (a-BC) and diamond like carbon (DLC) thin films in an effort to understand the chemical bonding involved and investigate possible phase separation routes in boron carbon nitride (BCN) films. In addition, we investigated the effect of implanted C+ ions in sputter deposited amorphous boron nitride (a-BN) films. Implanted ion energies for all ion species were set at 40 KeV. Implanted films were then analyzed using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The changes in the chemical composition and bonding chemistry due to ion-implantation were examined at different depths of the films using sequential ion-beam etching and high resolution XPS analysis cycles. A comparative analysis has been made with the results from sputter deposited BCN films suggesting that implanted nitrogen and carbon atoms behaved very similar to nitrogen and carbon atoms in sputter deposited BCN films. We found that implanted nitrogen atoms would prefer bonding to carbon atoms in the films only if there is no boron atom in the vicinity or after all available boron atoms have been saturated with nitrogen. Implanted carbon atoms also preferred to either bond with available boron atoms or, more likely bonded with other implanted carbon atoms. These results were also supported by ab-initio density functional theory calculations which indicated that carbon-carbon bonds were energetically preferable to carbon-boron and carbon-nitrogen bonds. (C) 2011 American Institute of Physics. [doi:10.1063/1.3638129]