Thin Solid Films, Vol.303, No.1-2, 156-166, 1997
Elaboration and Study of an Elastic Hard Si-Based Coating Obtained at Room-Temperature from a Far Cold Remote Nitrogen Plasma
The reactivity of a far cold remote nitrogen plasma is used to dissociate SiH4, in order to deposit, at ambient temperature, an elastic hard coating on various substrates. The deposition rate, independent of the substrate nature, is equal to 75 nm min(-1). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analyses of the film deposited on silicon reveal the presence of covalent Si-N bonds and the incorporation of oxygen and hydrogen. Scanning electron microscopy observations show that the film is a dense layer with a non-columnar structure. The values of hardness and elastic modulus calculated from microindentation experiments are equal to 9 and 34 GPa for a 4 mu m thick film deposited on polyvinyl chloride. For such a film. the specific abrasion energy calculated from scratch test is about 1300 N mm(-2).