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Carbon nanostructures grown with electron and ion beam methods

P. Lemoine, S.S. Roy, P.D. Maguire and J.A.D. McLaughlin
University of Ulster, UK

Keywords:
amorphous carbon, hardness, focused ion beam, atomic force microscopy

Abstract:
Simultaneous deposition and patterning of carbon nanostructures can be performed using focused electron beams or ion beams. Although a variety of useful tri-dimensional structures have been prepared (single electron transistor, nanotools, AFM probes, etc.), the growth mechanisms and properties of the deposited carbon material are still incompletely understood. We present a comparative study where carbon nanostructures were prepared by the electron and ion beam methods, varying systematically the preparation parameters (current, working distance and accelerating voltages, nature of substrate). The deposited thin films were analysed by Raman analysis (carbon bonding environment), nanoindentation (hardness and Young modulus), Energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) (C, O and Ga at.% with various surface sensitivities), conductive atomic force microscopy (AFM) and friction force microscopy. In most conditions, the material formed by these nanostructuring methods is hydrogenated amorphous carbon. The most tribologicaly promising candidate was used to form sharp AFM supertip structures which were successfully used to image high aspect ratio ceramic samples.

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