Topographic/structure changes of implanted Si3N4


A series of investigations were carried out to evaluate the topographic and structural effects of ion implantation on monolithic Si3N4 ceramic surfaces. Implantations were performed with N2, Ne, or Ar in the fluence range of 2.0 × 1016 to 4 × 1017 particles/cm2 and implant voltages of 125 to 200 keV, depending on the mass of the implanted species. Single crystal Si and SiC were also examined for comparative purposes. Noble gases produced blisters on Si3N4 and significant increases in surface expansion. TEM examination of the Si3N4 blister shell showed a distribution of small bubbles, ranging in size from 5 to 300 nm, depending upon the type of Si3N4, and a transformation of the original crystalline structure into an amorphous phase. Analysis of the blister shell, using electron energy loss spectrometry (EELS) and energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDXS) showed that a significant quantity of the implanted Ar was still present in the blister (skin).

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


  1. 1.

    S.T. Picraux, Annu. Rev. Mater. Sci., edited by R. A. Huggins, J. A. Giordmaine, and J. B. Wachtman, Jr., 14, 335 (1984).

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    P.J. Burnett and T.F. Page, Conf. Proc. of the Brit. Ceram. Soc, Ceramic Surfaces and Surface Treatments, 34, London (Dec. 1983).

  3. 3.

    C.J. McHargue, B.R. Appleton, and C.W. White, NATO-ASI, Surface Engineering, edited by R. Kossowsky and S. C. Singhal, NATO ASI Series (Martinus Nijhoff Pub., The Hague, 1984).

  4. 4.

    P.J. Burnett and T.F. Page, J. Mater. Sci . 19, 3524 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    T Hioki, A. Itoh, S. Noda, H. Doi, J. Kawamoto, and O. Kamigaito, J. Mater. Sci. Lett . 3, 1099 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    C. W. White, C. J. McHargue, P. S. Sklad, L. A. Boatner, and G. C. Farlow, Mater. Sci. Rep . 4 (2–3), July (1989).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    A. T. Churchman, R. S. Barnes, and A. H. Cottrell, J. Nucl. Mater . 7, 88 (1958).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    R.L. Klueh, Sci. Technol . 5 (Oct. 1969).

  9. 9.

    G. Knuyt, M. D’Olieslaeger, L. DeScheppa, and L. Stals, Mater. Sci. Eng . 98, 523 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    G.C. Farlow, C.J. McHargue, C.W. White, and B.R. Appleton, Rad. Eff . 97, 257 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    C.J McHargue, G.C. Farlow, M.B. Lewis, and J.M. Williams, Nucl. Instrum. Methods B19/20, 809 (1987).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    S. Miyagawa, Y. Ato, and Y. Miyagawa, J. Appl. Phys . 54 (5), 2302 (1983).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    S. G. Roberts and T. F. Page, J. Mater. Sci. 21, 457 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    R. S. Bhattacharya, A. K. Raiv, and P. P. Pronko, J. Appl. Phys. 61 (10), 4791 (1987).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    J. Cochran, K. O. Legg, and G. R. Baldau, Emergent Process Methods for High Technology Ceramics, edited by R. F. Davis, H. Palmour III, and R. L. Porter, Mater. Sci. Res. 17, 549, Plenum Press (1984).

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    S.J. Bull and T.F. Page, J. Mater. Sci . 23 (12), 4217 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    SUSPRE, “Surrey University Sputter Profile Resolution from Energy Deposition”, Surrey University, United Kingdom.

  18. 18.

    J.P. Biersack, Nucl. Instrum. Methods B182/183, 199 (1981).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    J.F. Gibbons, Proc. IEEE 60 (6), 1062 (1972).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    J. F. Ziegler, The Stopping and Range of Ions in Solids, Ion Implantation: Science and Technology, edited by J. F. Ziegler (Academic Press, Inc., 1984), p. 51.

    Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    D. E. Bradley, Techniques for Electron Microscopy, Replica and Shadowing Techniques, edited by D.H. Kay (F. A. Davis Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1965), p. 119.

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    O. Auciello, Ion Bombardment Modification of Surfaces: Fundamentals and Applications, edited by O. Auciello and R. Kelly (Elsevier Publishing, New York, 1984).

    Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    D.W. Oblas and V.K. Sarin, Symposium Proceedings, Ion Implantation and Plasma-Assisted Processes for Industrial Applications, edited by R. Hochman, H. Solnick-Legg, and K. Legg (ASM INTERNATIONAL, Metals Park, OH, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to V. K. Sarin.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Oblas, D.W., Sarin, V.K. & Ostreicher, K. Topographic/structure changes of implanted Si3N4 . Journal of Materials Research 7, 2579–2584 (1992).

Download citation