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Spectroscopic Ellipsometry of Nanocrystalline Diamond Film Growth

DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.7b00866 DOI Help

Authors: Evan L. H. Thomas (Cardiff University) , Soumen Mandal (Cardiff University) , Ashek I-ahmed (National Dong Hwa University) , John Emyr Macdonald (Cardiff University) , Thomas G. Dane (University of Bristol) , Jonathan Rawle (Diamond Light Source) , Chia-liang Cheng (National Dong Hwa University) , Oliver A. Williams (Cardiff University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Omega , VOL 2 , PAGES 6715 - 6727

State: Published (Approved)
Published: October 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9014 , 8081

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: With the retention of many of the unrivaled properties of bulk diamond but in thin-film form, nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) has applications ranging from micro-/nano-electromechanical systems to tribological coatings. However, with Young’s modulus, transparency, and thermal conductivity of films all dependent on the grain size and nondiamond content, compositional and structural analysis of the initial stages of diamond growth is required to optimize growth. Spectroscopic ellipsometry (SE) has therefore been applied to the characterization of 25–75 nm thick NCD samples atop nanodiamond-seeded silicon with a clear distinction between the nucleation and bulk growth regimes discernable. The resulting presence of an interfacial carbide and peak in nondiamond carbon content upon coalescence is correlated with Raman spectroscopy, whereas the surface roughness and microstructure are in accordance with values provided by atomic force microscopy. As such, SE is demonstrated to be a powerful technique for the characterization of the initial stages of growth and hence the optimization of seeding and nucleation within films to yield high-quality NCD.

Journal Keywords: Analytical chemistry; Grain boundaries; Microstructure; Phase transition; Polyacetylenes; Surface structure; Thin films

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics, Chemistry

Instruments: I07-Surface & interface diffraction