The present study is focused on the vibrational and structural characterization of a set of disordered hydrogenated carbon nitride (a-CN:H) thin films grown by reactive sputtering. A comparative analysis of the experimental results as achieved by Raman and infrared (IR) spectroscopies is made. The disorder-induced features of IR and Raman spectra are discussed as well in light of the current assessment on the vibrational properties of carbon-based materials. Some differences between a-CN:H and nonnitrogenated a-C:H materials are evidenced and attributed to the effects of charge redistribution and bond polarization due to the presence of nitrogen. In order to justify such a hypothesis, the dielectric constant, the dynamic effective charge, and the IR cross section determined by the charge transfer effects are calculated and found to be in agreement with the corresponding experimental values.
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