Journal of Materials Research


A Study of Nanostructures of Thin Films in B–C–N System Produced by Pulsed Laser Deposition and Nitrogen Ion-Beam-Assisted Pulsed Laser Deposition

S. Bysakha1, K. Chattopadhyaya1, H. Linga2, J.D. Wua2, C. Donga3, Y.Q. Wanga4, X.F. Duana4 and K.H. Kuoa4

a1 Department of Metallurgy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

a2 Joint State Key Laboratory for Materials Modification by Laser, Ion and Electron Beams, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

a3 Joint State Key Laboratory for Materials Modification by Laser, Ion and Electron Beams, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian, People’s Republic of China

a4 Beijing Laboratory of Electron Microscopy, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, People’s Republic of China


We report the synthesis of thin films of B–C–N and C–N deposited by N+ ion-beam-assisted pulsed laser deposition (IBPLD) technique on glass substrates at different temperatures. We compare these films with the thin films of boron carbide synthesized by pulsed laser deposition without the assistance of ion-beam. Electron diffraction experiments in the transmission electron microscope shows that the vapor quenched regions of all films deposited at room temperature are amorphous. In addition, shown for the first time is the evidence of laser melting and subsequent rapid solidification of B4C melt in the form of micrometer- and submicrometer-size round particulates on the respective films. It is possible to amorphize B4C melt droplets of submicrometer sizes. Solidification morphologies of micrometer-size droplets show dispersion of nanocrystallites of B4C in amorphous matrix within the droplets. We were unable to synthesize cubic carbon nitride using the current technique. However, the formation of nanocrystalline turbostratic carbo- and boron carbo-nitrides were possible by IBPLD on substrate at elevated temperature and not at room temperature. Turbostraticity relaxes the lattice spacings locally in the nanometric hexagonal graphite in C–N film deposited at 600 °C leading to large broadening of diffraction rings.

(Received September 30 2003)

(Accepted November 03 2003)

Key Words:

  • Amorphous;
  • Electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS);
  • Ablation