Identification by force modulation microscopy of nanoparticles generated in vacuum arcs

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Mauricio Arroyave Franco


force modulation, atomic force, nanoparticle, TiN, Ti. 1


An alternative method based on force modulation microscopy (FMM) for identification of nanoparticles produced in the plasma generated by the cathode spots of vacuum arcs is presented. FMM technique is enabled for the detection of variations in the mechanical properties of a surface with high sensitiveness. Titanium nitride (TiN) coatings deposited on oriented silicon by pulsed vacuum arc process have been analyzed. AFM (Atomic Force Microscopy) and FMM images were simultaneously obtained, and in all cases it was possible to identify nanoparticle presence. Further X-ray Diffraction spectra of sample coating were taken. Existence of contaminant particles of 47 nanometers in diameter was reported.

PACS: 42.79.Wc, 68.35.Gy


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