Covalently bonded solids based on boron, carbon, or nitrogen are the hardest materials, and B4C is the third hardest after diamond and cubic boron nitride. Thin films of boron carbide were formed by pulsed laser deposition at room temperature and at higher temperatures up to 800 o C using a sintered B4C target. Whilst the nature of the particulates embedded in the films and the composition and bonding states of the films is known to vary depending on the laser fluence, it is of considered interest in this study to understand how the surface quality, microstructure and tensile properties of B4C would depend on substrate temperature. The deposition parameters such as the laser intensity, vacuum, supporting gas conditions, target-substrate distance, would be controlled such that only substrate temperature is used to modify the film properties and composition. Raman scattering studies and AFM measurements would be used to probe the microstructure and bonding of the film as the substrate temperature is varied, whilst Brillouin scattering measurements would be used examine the elasticity changes.
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