Characterization of ta-C and granular Co-C films prepared by pulsed filtered vacuum arc deposition

S. P. Wong*, H. Wang, N. Ke, W. Y. Cheung, M. F. Chiah, D. H. Chen, Q. J. Li, H. Liu, X. X. Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A pulsed filtered vacuum arc deposition system was used to prepate ta-C thin films and granular Co-C films. The ta-C films prepared at various substrate bias voltages were characterized using Raman spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry of which the results confirmed that these ta-C films exhibit high sp3 fraction of over 80%. The composition of the granular Co-C films prepared by the same system was determined by non-Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. The properties of these Co-C films, as deposited and after vacuum annealing at various temperatures, were studied using Raman spectroscopy, electrical measurements, magnetic measurements by a SQUID magnetometer, atomic force microscopy and magnetic force microscopy. It was found that the dependence of the Raman spectra of these films on annealing temperature was associated with the formation and dissociation of a cobalt carbide phase and the graphitization of amorphous carbon. The magnetic properties showed complicated composition and annealing temperature dependence. The optimum annealing temperature for the maximum coercivity was found to depend on the composition of the film. For a film of Co65C35 after annealing at 623K in vacuum for one hour, the coercivity was measured to be 460 Oe at 300K and 1380 Oe at 3K. Clear MFM images of the domain structures were observed for films after annealing at sufficiently high temperature, showing that there was perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in these films. A nearly-temperature-independent electrical resistance in the range from 20K to 300K was also observed. A more detailed analysis indicated that the low temperature electrical transport is consistent with a theory for granular metal films.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-332
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics B
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Jan 30 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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