Metastable iron carbide thin films produced by pulsed laser deposition of iron in methane atmosphere
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Metastable iron carbide thin films (χ-Fe5C2 and o-Fe7C3) were produced by pulsed laser deposition of Fe in a CH4 atmosphere, and their Mössbauer spectra and X-ray diffraction patterns were measured. Films consisting of amorphous Fe-C carbide were obtained when the substrate temperature was kept at 300 K during deposition, while crystalline films were produced for a substrate temperature of 573 K. The effect of CH4 pressure was investigated. Films produced below 4.0 Pa consisted of a combination of χ-Fe5C2 and α-Fe, and single-phase carbide films were produced at higher pressure: pure χ-Fe5C2 and o-Fe7C3 films were produced at 4.0 and 6.0 Pa, respectively. At 13 Pa, a film was produced consisting of o-Fe7C3 and paramagnetic amorphous Fe-C containing a large amount of C atoms. The film produced at the highest pressure of 40 Pa consisted solely of paramagnetic amorphous Fe-C.
KeywordsIron carbide Thin films Pulsed laser deposition Mössbauer spectroscopy
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