Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 43, Issue 18, pp 6159–6166 | Cite as

Formation of nano-columnar amorphous carbon films via electron beam irradiation

  • Tatsuhiko AizawaEmail author
  • E. Iwamura
  • T. Uematsu


Electrical beam (EB) irradiation is used to chemically modify the amorphous carbon film, a-C:H, which is prepared by the DC magnetron sputtering. The starting a-C:H film has vague columnar structure with lower density intercolumns as predicted by Thornton structure model. The EB-irradiated a-C:H film has fine nano-columnar structure with the average columnar size of 10–15 nm. This size is equivalent to the measured in-plain correlation length by the Raman spectroscopy. Little change in the sp2/sp3 bonding ratio is observed in the columnar matrix before and after EB-irradiation. Increase of sp2/sp3 ratio is noted in the intercolumns of irradiated a-C:H films. No change is detected in the hydrogen content of a-C:H films before and after EB-irradiation: 35 at% hydrogen in a-C:H. Increase of the in-plain density via EB-irradiation, is attributed to the increase of local atomic density in the intercolumns, which is measured by the electron energy zero-loss spectroscopy. This local densification is accompanied with ordering or graphitization in the intercolumns of the EB-irradiated a-C:H film. The nano-columnar a-C:H film modified by EB-irradiation has non-linear elasticity where indentation displacement should be reversible up to 8% of film thickness. Owing to this ordering and densification via EB-irradiation, softening both in stiffness and hardness takes place with increasing the irradiation time.


Hydrogen Content Amorphous Carbon Bonding State Electron Beam Irradiation Bonding Ratio 



Authors would like to express their gratitude to Mr. T. Fukuda and Mr. H. Morishita, R & D center, Mitsue Die and Mold Co. Ltd. for experimental help in use of Raman spectroscopy.


  1. 1.
    Kim KY et al (1996) Surf Coat Technol 87:569. doi: Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Vercammen K et al (2000) Surf Coat Technol 134:466. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Dai L (ed) (2006) Carbon nanotechnology. Elsevier, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ferrari AC, Robertson J (2000) Phys Rev B 61:14095. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bewilogua K et al (2008) Abstract ICMCTF-2008 (San Diego), p 67Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Suzuki H, Ikenaga M (2003) Applications of DLC coating. Nikkan-Kougyou ShinbunGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chhowalla M et al (1997) Philos Mag Lett 75:329. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gupta S et al (2006) Mater Sci 21:3109Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Iwamura E (2003) Ceram Trans 148:139Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Iwamura E (2003) Rev Adv Mater Sci 5:34Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Iwamura E, Aizawa T (2006) Mater Res Soc Symp Proc 908E:0011-05Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Aizawa T, Iwamura E, Itoh K (2007) Surf Coal Technol 202:1177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Tuinstra F, Koenig JL (1970) J Comp Mater 4:492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Thornton JA (1974) J Vac Sci Technol 11:666CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chung CK, Wun BH (2006) Thin Solid Films 515:1985. doi: CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Mura T (1987) Micromechanics of defects in solids, 2nd edn. Martinus Nijhoff Publishing, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Accessed 28 May 2008

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AsiaSEED-InsituteTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Japan R&D LaboratoryUniversity of TorontoOta-CityJapan
  3. 3.Arakawa Chemical Co. Ltd.OsakaJapan
  4. 4.Tokyo Metropolitan Industrial Research InstituteOta-CityJapan

Personalised recommendations