Nano-carbon nitride synthesis from a bio-molecular target for ion beam sputtering at low temperature

J. J. Wu*, T. R. Lu, C. T. Wu, T. Y. Wang, L. C. Chen, K. H. Chen, C. T. Kuo, Teng-Ming Chen, Y. C. Yu, C. W. Wang, E. K. Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

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24 Scopus citations


Nano-crystalline carbon nitride has been successfully synthesized at a temperature below 100 °C from an adenine(C5N5H5) target sputtered by an Ar ion beam. Because adenine possesses a ring structure similar to the hypothetical β-C3N4 phase, the use of this bio-molecular compound as the target is believed to reduce the energy barrier of carbon-nitride growth. The effect of Ar ion-sputtering voltage on the film growth and the effect of extra-N-atom incorporation on the carbon-nitride film growth are examined in this study. Only a carbon film is formed with an ion energy of 500 V. For the ion-beam energy above 750 V, carbon nitride films are deposited, and there is some hydrogen incorporation in the films. The N/C composition ratio in the films could reach 1:1 and is independent on the ion beam voltage. The nitrogen is bonded with carbon within the films, as determined by the IR and XPS measurements. However, the films deposited at a higher ion voltage could possess some original functional groups of adenine. A strong and broad peak at a d-spacing of 0.32 nm, comparable to the calculated d-spacing of the β-C3N4(110), is observed in the XRD spectra of the carbon nitride films. The TEM results indicated that the film contained nano-crystalline grains. Several d values are also in good agreement with those of adenine and the calculated values of β-C3N4. The C/N ratios of the films are still kept at almost 1:1 with N atoms added during deposition. The XRD spectra and IR spectra of these films are all similar to the film deposited without nitrogen source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-609
Number of pages5
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Issue number2-5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1999


  • Bio-material
  • CN
  • Sputtering

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