ISSN 10637397, Russian Microelectronics, 2011, Vol. 40, No. 8, pp. 591–594. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2011.
Original Russian Text © M.D. Malinkovich, Yu.N. Parkhomenko, D.S. Polyakov, M.L. Shupegin, 2010, published in Izvestiya Vysshikh Uchebnykh Zavedenii. Materialy Elektronnoi
Tekhniki, 2010, No. 1, pp. 41–45.
Films based on a siliconcarbon matrix are amor
phous materials, whose mechanical properties are
comparable with the properties of diamond films.
However, unlike the diamond films, they have inter
esting properties for electrophysical applications.
These properties are related to the features of the syn
thesis of such materials, which allows us to introduce
nanosized metallicphase particles into the matrix
during the growth. The volume content of these nano
particles can reach tens of percent. By varying the
composition and concentration of nanophase parti
cles, one can set the values of electrical conductivity of
the films in the range 10
cm, and change the
conduction mechanism, from hopping to metallic .
Insulating (undoped) films possess a high dielectric
strength of up to 3
Investigation of the structure of metallized silicon
carbon films in relation to their physical properties is a
prerequisite for developing methods of controlling the
properties of these materials. An overview about the
structure and phase composition of the films was
obtained earlier by electron and Xray diffraction in .
At the same time, information on their surface proper
ties, such as roughness and the distribution of the elec
tron work function and others, can be obtained by scan
ning probe microscopy. This information is not only of
practical but also scientific interest because it allows us to
draw definite conclusions about the mechanism of parti
cles’ entry to an amorphous matrix during its growth.
Below, the results of study by methods of atomic
force and scanning tunneling microscopy (STM and
AFM, respectively) of the surface of siliconcarbon
films containing nanosized inclusions of platinum are
SAMPLES AND METHODS
Samples of siliconcarbon nanocomposite films
were synthesized on polished silicon substrates fixed
on a rotating substrate holder in the combined process,
which includes the deposition of a matrix from the
plasma of phenylmethylsiloxane vapor, with the simul
taneous introduction of platinum particles by magne
tron sputtering. The platinum content, determined by
Xray photoelectron spectroscopy, was 17 at %. Details
of the process are described in .
The surface of the samples was studied by AFM in
the tapping mode and by STM in the constant current
mode and constant height mode with the scanning
probe microscope ITEGRA Prima NTMDT (Zele
The AFM study of the surface roughness was per
formed by using ultrasharp Mikromash cantilevers
with a claimed needle radius of 1 nm, which is con
firmed by the image of the probe cantilever in an elec
tron microscope (Fig. 1).
For STM studies, tungsten probes were used. They
were made of wire with a diameter 0.3 mm in two
stages: first by electrochemical etching in NaOH solu
tion and then followed by an additional special refer
ence point beam of gallium ions in a vacuum chamber
scanning ion microscope Strata 201. Figure 2 shows an
image of a tungsten tip after chemical etching and fur
ther processing by an ion beam.
Probes produced in this way were tested on the ref
erence surface of highly oriented pyrolytic graphite in
the constant current mode (Fig. 3). As can be seen
from Fig. 3, the probes allow us to reliably obtain
atomicresolution STM images of surfaces.
Surface Structure of Nanocomposites Based on SiliconCarbon
Matrix Revealed by Scanning Probe Microscopy
M. D. Malinkovich, Yu. N. Parkhomenko, D. S. Polyakov, and M. L. Shupegin
National University of Science and Technology “MISIS”, Moscow, Russia
—The surface of amorphous films with siliconcarbon matrix containing platinum nanoparticles is
studied by the methods of scanning probe microscopy. The image obtained by atomic force microscopy shows
that the film surface has a random roughness with an average size of less than 1 nm, while the image obtained
by scanning tunneling microscopy presents hemispherical formations tightly arranged with a diameter of sev
eral tens of nanometers and a height of several nanometers. It is assumed that particles of platinum are
ordered in the synthesis of the films.
: siliconcarbon matrix, AFM image, STM image, nanosized particles.
NANOMATERIALS AND NANOTECHNOLOGY