A hybrid technique combining the radio-frequency magnetron sputtering of silicon and the plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition of hydrogenated carbon was developed to synthesize silicon-incorporating diamond-like carbon films. Plasma power was supplied at different levels to a silicon electrode in an Ar/CH4 atmosphere to prepare films having different Si contents. The effects of plasma power level on the compositions and microstructures of the deposited film were investigated. The Si contents and deposition rates of the films increased with the plasma power. All the films exhibited an amorphous structure. The addition of Si not only resulted in the smoothening of the granular surfaces of the films but also led to the formation of round projections having a diameter of about 200 nm on the surfaces. Most of the Si in the films reacted with carbon, and no precipitation of SiC or Si phases was noticed in the films.
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