We report the synthesis of thin films of B–C–N and C–N deposited by N+ ion-beam-assisted pulsed laser deposition (IBPLD) technique on glass substrates at different temperatures. We compare these films with the thin films of boron carbide synthesized by pulsed laser deposition without the assistance of ion-beam. Electron diffraction experiments in the transmission electron microscope shows that the vapor quenched regions of all films deposited at room temperature are amorphous. In addition, shown for the first time is the evidence of laser melting and subsequent rapid solidification of B4C melt in the form of micrometer- and submicrometer-size round particulates on the respective films. It is possible to amorphize B4C melt droplets of submicrometer sizes. Solidification morphologies of micrometer-size droplets show dispersion of nanocrystallites of B4C in amorphous matrix within the droplets. We were unable to synthesize cubic carbon nitride using the current technique. However, the formation of nanocrystalline turbostratic carbo- and boron carbo-nitrides were possible by IBPLD on substrate at elevated temperature and not at room temperature. Turbostraticity relaxes the lattice spacings locally in the nanometric hexagonal graphite in C–N film deposited at 600 °C leading to large broadening of diffraction rings.
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