Electrical and Optical Properties of CNx(0⩽x⩽0.25) Films Deposited by Reactive Magnetron Sputtering

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The electrical and optical properties of carbon-nitride CNx films (0⩽x⩽0.25) deposited by unbalanced reactive magnetron sputtering from a graphite target in mixed Ar/N2 discharges at a substrate temperature of 350 °C have been investigated. Pure C films exhibit a dark conductivity at room temperature of 25 Ω−1 cm−1, which grows up to 250 Ω−1 cm−1 for CNx films with N content of 20%. For CNx films, temperature-dependent conductivity measurements suggest that two electron conduction processes exist in the investigated temperature range 1302 bonds in the material. The measured electrical and optical properties of the films are related to the apparent film microstructure and bonding nature. Electron microscopy show that the addition of N2 in an Ar discharge leads to a transformation from amorphous to a fullerene-like microstructure consisting of curved, frequently intersecting, and highly in-plane oriented basal lattice planes.