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Characterization of a-C:N:H, a-SiNx:H and a-SiCx:Ny:H layers deposited on various substrates DOI:10.15199/28.2018.6.1

  1. INTRODUCTION For many years various methods of surface engineering like physical vapour deposition (PVD), plasma assisted chemical vapour deposition (PACVD), ion implantation, and pulse laser deposition (PLD) have been used in order to improve the utility value materials [1÷5]. Among various methods, PACVD, which enables lowering the process temperature, is the most promising one. It provides a modern tool to manufacture layers not only on substrates such as alloys and glass, but also on polymers. The PACVD technique needs strict determination of the processing parameters: temperature, pressure, plasma power and time. Additionally, composition of the gas mixture, i.e. types of gases and volume flows and location of the substrate in the reaction chamber (anode or cathode) can be critical [2]. There is much research dedicated to structural and other properties of the layers deposited by PACVD at various conditions [2, 3, 6]. However, little is known about the effect of the type of substrate on the structure and properties of the layers [7÷10]. The present study is aimed to fulfil this gap by focusing on amorphous hydrogenated carbon nitride (a-C:N:H) layers [2, 6, 11], amorphous hydrogenated silicon nitride (a-SiNx:H) layers [12, 13] and amorphous hydrogenated silicon carbonitride (a-SiCxNy:H) layers [14, 15], grown on both glass and silicon wafers. The a-C:N:H, a-SiNx:H and a-SiCxNy:H layers form a very important group of materials that can be obtained by RF PACVD and they are currently in the center of attention of the scientific community. a-C:N:H layers exhibit good tribological properties and high corrosion resistance making them an attractive material for protective coatings [16, 17]. Moreover, these layers have an advantage over amorphous carbon ones, resulting from their better adhesion to the substrate. Such an effect is achieved thanks to nitrogen admixture, which relaxes the structure and reduces internal stresses [...]

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