We report new results concerning the composition and the structure of the particulates covering the surface of the thin films deposited by reactive pulsed laser deposition (RPLD) from a Ti target in low-pressure methane. We show that the small particulates having diameters smaller than 0.5 mu m have a composition and a morphology identical to that of the deposited films which consist of pure, stoichiometric, cubic TiC with a lattice parameter of 0.436 nm. In contrast, the larger particulates with diameters up to 3 mu m are a mixture of TiC and prevalent unreacted Ti. All particulates seem to have a spherical geometrical shape at the moment of their impact onto the collector. We consider that this feature is congruent with the formation of particulates by expulsion in a liquid phase from the melted layer existing inside the crater forming on the target's surface under the action of the pulsed laser irradiation.
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