Plasma Deposition of Mg3N2 on Stainless Steel Substrates

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mg3n2 is a chemical compound with the chemical formula mg3n2. It is an inorganic compound composed of magnesium and nitrogen. It is prepared by passing dry nitrogen or ammonia over heated magnesium. It is a hard and brittle crystalline semiconductor with a wide direct band gap of 2.8 eV, and it is used in the preparation of light-emitting diodes. It has high corrosion resistance, low coefficient of thermal expansion, and good mechanical properties.

Magnesium nitride has an odorless and colorless crystal structure. It is a paramagnetic material and has a para magnetic character because of its unpaired electrons in the outermost valency shell. It can be synthesized by traditional nitridation processes such as direct nitridation of magnesium powder, or by low-pressure chemical vapor deposition in an oxygen-free atmosphere. However, these techniques have problems in atmosphere control and in obtaining nanosized powders.

We present a simple plasma method for the synthesis of mg3n2 films on stainless steel substrates using a plasma focus instrument. Twenty-five optimum focus shots were used to deposit mg3n2 films on substrates at different angular positions regarded to the anode tip. The morphological and structural characteristics of these mg3n2 films were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and X-ray diffraction. A fractal analysis of the surface roughness was also performed. The results show that the mg3n2 film deposited on the stainless steel substrates has a porous structure, with a specific surface area of 176 m2 g-1 and a total pore volume of 0.41 cm3 g-1. The mg3n2 film deposited at different angular positions also shows a variation in its fractal parameters.