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Materials 2017, 10(11), 1305; doi:10.3390/ma10111305

Morphological Transition in Diamond Thin-Films Induced by Boron in a Microwave Plasma Deposition Process

1
Department of Physics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2
Department of Chemistry and Physics, Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, AL 35254, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 October 2017 / Revised: 10 November 2017 / Accepted: 12 November 2017 / Published: 14 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to understand the basic mechanisms responsible for the synthesis of nanostructured diamond films in a microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) process and to identify plasma chemistry suitable for controlling the morphology and electrical properties of deposited films. The nanostructured diamond films were synthesized by MPCVD on Ti-6Al-4V alloy substrates using H2/CH4/N2 precursor gases and the plasma chemistry was monitored by the optical emission spectroscopy (OES). The synthesized thin-films were characterized by x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. The addition of B2H6 to the feedgas during MPCVD of diamond thin-films changes the crystal grain size from nanometer to micron scale. Nanostructured diamond films grown with H2/CH4/N2 gases demonstrate a broad (111) Bragg x-ray diffraction peak (Full-Width at Half-Maximum (FWHM) = 0.93° 2θ), indicating a small grain size, whereas scans show a definite sharpening of the diamond (111) peak (FWHM = 0.30° 2θ) with the addition of boron. OES showed a decrease in CN (carbon–nitrogen) radical in the plasma with B2H6 addition to the gas mixture. Our study indicates that CN radical plays a critical role in the synthesis of nanostructured diamond films and suppression of CN radical by boron-addition in the plasma causes a morphological transition to microcrystalline diamond. View Full-Text
Keywords: microwave plasma deposition; nanostructured diamond; optical emission spectroscopy; x-ray diffraction; microcrystalline diamond microwave plasma deposition; nanostructured diamond; optical emission spectroscopy; x-ray diffraction; microcrystalline diamond
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Baker, P.A.; Goodloe, D.R.; Vohra, Y.K. Morphological Transition in Diamond Thin-Films Induced by Boron in a Microwave Plasma Deposition Process. Materials 2017, 10, 1305.

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