Characterization of hypervelocity impact craters on chemical vapour-deposited diamond and diamond-like carbon films

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Microwave plasma chemical vapour-deposited (CVD) process has been used to grow polycrystalline diamond films over silicon substrates. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) thin films were grown over silicon substrates using a microwave plasma disc reactor. Reactant gases of CH4 and H2 were used in both CVD processes. Some preliminary feasibility tests were performed on the possible applicability of diamond and diamond-like carbon thin films for space-protective applications against artificially simulated electrically actuated plasma drag hypervelocity impact of olivine particles. As-deposited films were analysed by Raman for their chemical nature. The morphology and dimensions of hypervelocity impact craters in diamond and DLC films was also studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical microscopy. The velocity of debris particles was determined by high-speed photography using a streak camera. The size of the impact particles was determined by measuring the size of the holes formed in the mylar sheet mounted just above the target diamond and DLC film/silicon and coordinates of the impact sites were determined using the same apparatus.

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