Microstructure of cubic boron nitride thin films grown by ion-assisted pulsed laser deposition

D. L. Medlin, T. A. Friedmann, P. B. Mirkarimi, Peter Rez, M. J. Mills, K. F. McCarty

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104 Scopus citations


A microstructural study of boron nitride films grown by ion-assisted pulsed laser deposition is presented. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, electron-energy-loss spectroscopy, and electron-diffraction measurements indicate that within the ion-irradiated region on the substrate, the film consists of a high fraction of the cubic phase (cBN) with a small amount of the turbostratic phase; outside the irradiated region, only the turbostratic phase is detected. Conventional and high-resolution electron microscopic observations show that the cBN is in the form of twinned crystallites, up to 40 nm in diameter. Particulates, formed by the laser ablation process, reduce the yield of cBN in the irradiated regions by shadowing local areas from the ion beam. The films exhibit a layered structure with an approximately 30-nm-thick layer of oriented turbostratic material forming initially at the silicon substrate followed by the cBN. The observations of oriented turbostratic material and twinned cBN crystallites are discussed in relation to a previously proposed compressive stress-induced mechanism for cBN synthesis by ion-assisted film deposition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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