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An enhancement by 5 orders of magnitude of the electrical conductivity of nanoclustered carbon films is reported by incorporation of metallic atoms, but without significant morphological changes. Films were deposited by 248 nm pulsed laser ablation of both a pyrolytic graphite target and a mixed carbon-nickel (C:Ni) target, and structural analysis revealed that similar film morphologies were obtained when deposition was carried out using either target. Compositional analysis demonstrated a preferential incorporation of nickel over carbon in the resulting films (cf. the composition of the target). This non-stoichiometric transfer was also observed for films grown by 193 nm laser ablation of the C:Ni target, for which the enhancement was more pronounced, indicating that the ablation mechanism and the subsequent transfer are important in determining the eventual film composition. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.