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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2012, Article ID 792973, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/792973
Research Article

Mechanical and Structural Properties of Fluorine-Ion-Implanted Boron Suboxide

1DST/NRF Centre of Excellence in Strong Materials, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
2School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
3National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, CSIR, P.O. Box 395, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
4Department of Physics and Biochemical Sciences, University of Malawi, The Polytechnic, Private Bag 303, Chichiri, Blantyre 0003, Malawi
5Nano Centre, Polymer Nanotechnology Center & Department of Physics, B. S. Abdur Rahman University, Vandalur, Chennai-600048, India
6School of Physics, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
7Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems, Winterbergstraβe 28, 01277 Dresden, Germany

Received 30 April 2011; Revised 18 September 2011; Accepted 19 September 2011

Academic Editor: W. Ensinger

Copyright © 2012 Ronald Machaka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Results on a systematic study on the effects of ion implantation on the near-surface mechanical and structural properties of boron suboxide (B6O) prepared by uniaxial hot pressing are reviewed. 150 keV fluorine ions at fluences of up to  ions/cm2 were implanted into the ultrahard ceramic material at room temperature and characterized using Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Evidence of ion-beam-assisted nucleation of novel clustered particles by ion implantation is revealed. In addition, obtained results also reveal that fluorine implantation into the B6O specimen leads to an overall degradation of near-surface mechanical properties with increasing fluorine fluence. Implications of these observations in the creation of amorphous near-surface layers by high-dose ion implantation are discussed in this paper.