Topographic and optical contrasts formed by Ga+ ion irradiation of thin films of amorphous silicon carbide have been investigated with scanning near-field optical microscopy. The influence of ion-irradiation dose has been studied in a pattern of sub-micrometre stripes. While the film thickness decreases monotonically with ion dose, the optical contrast rapidly increases to a maximum value and then decreases gradually. The results are discussed in terms of the competition between the effects of ion implantation and surface milling by the ion beam. The observed effects are important for uses of amorphous silicon carbide thin films as permanent archives in optical data storage applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)