Carbon-based amorphous and fullerene-like (FL) thin films have a great potential due to their mechanical resiliency. TEM investigation and interpretation of results from FL structures embedded in bulk phases is not straightforward. Here, a model is presented for description of the structure of FL-CP0.1 thin films and to describe all the rings in the electron diffraction pattern in a self-consistent way. The model structure consists of random close-packed and P-doped C20 clusters resembling a kind of amorphous fullerite (crystals of fullerene cages). The 10% P doping was implemented by creating C18P2 cages by replacing two C atoms by P in the C20 cage. The simulated electron scattering is in agreement with the experimental electron diffraction pattern and reproduces all the observed diffuse diffraction rings of FL-CP0.1 at ∼1.6, ∼2.6, and ∼5.9 Å. Simulation of HRTEM images confirmed the amorphous appearance of this nanostructured material.
A cluster of P-doped random close-packed C20 fullerite (right) and its calculated electron diffraction (left) for different average cluster size (expressed in number of atoms).