The lowest threshold energy of ion bombardment for cubic boron nitride (cBN) film deposition is presented. cBN films are prepared on positively biased Si (100) substrates from boron trifluoride (BF3) gas in the high-density source region of an inductively coupled plasma with mean ion impact energies from 45 down to a few eV or less. The great decrease in the threshold ion energy is mainly attributed to specific chemical effects of fluorine as well as high ion-to-boron flux ratios. The results show evidence for the existence of a way to deposit cBN films through quasistatic chemical processes under ultralow-energy ion impact.

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