An atomistic study of growth mode and microstructure evolution of amorphous carbon films by different incident carbon atoms

C Xue and JQ Zhou, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 314, 973-982 (2014).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.06.133

In this paper, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has been performed to describe the growth and interfacial microstructure of amorphous carbon films. We focus on the film growth mode and surface morphology for diverse deposition process parameters mainly including incident energy and incident angle. To explore the relationship between the motion of deposition atoms and amorphous films growth, a series of snapshots for each deposition process has been taken for comparison. The snapshots show that the films growth modes are diverse at different incident parameters. In the next step, surface morphology, atom distribution along film growth direction and internal structure including vacancy defects evolution during deposition process are analyzed. The results reveal that incident energy on the horizontal plane dominates the surface roughness, and incident energy on the vertical plane dominates the compactness of the film. We conclude that a suitable incident parameter is not only beneficial to prepare amorphous films with compact and smooth or bump-like surface which will meet different needs, but also can avoid formation of defects during deposition. The simulation results are expected to provide useful guidance for improving amorphous carbon films quality. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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