As parts of targets used in laser–matter interaction experiments, hydrocarbon plasma polymerized coatings of thickness between 100 nm and 30 μm with a smooth surface finish (rms⩽100 nm) are realized. For this work, a mixture of transbutene and hydrogen with the substrate in or out of the discharge is used in a low frequency (2.4 kHz) plasma reactor. The plasma is characterized by emission spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. The best results are obtained in postdischarge conditions: rms=18 nm for 2.6 μm thickness.

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