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Recent Advances on Diamond-Based Optical, Electronic, and Optoelectronic Devices

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Electronic Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 August 2024 | Viewed by 12763

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Istituto di Struttura della Materia, ISM-CNR, 00015 Monterotondo Stazione, Italy
Interests: diamond-based devices; optoelectronic characterization of wide-bandgap semiconductors; detectors for ionizing radiation and particles; laser microstructuring of bulk crystals; ultra-high-temperature thermal energy storage

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Diamond’s properties as a wide-bandgap semiconductor have been well-known for several decades.

Some diamond-based devices for niche applications, such as small-field dosimetry for radiotherapy, have already found their place in the market, thanks to a well-established technology that allows diamond biological tissue-equivalence to be efficiently exploited.

Conversely, some other diamond properties, although excellent, still cannot be fully exploited in a commercializable device, mostly because of immature technologies that find it hard to be reliable enough to make prototypes cross the borders of research labs. That is the case, for example, of diamond planar field-effect transistors (FETs) for high-power high-frequency electronics, the performance of which is limited by the instability of the surface hydrogen termination.

However, in recent years, the integration of advanced techniques into the fabrication and the characterization of diamond-based devices enhanced their performance and reliability. We can think of diamond FinFETs without hydrogen ternination, or high-quality single-crystal diamond membranes for radioisotope batteries, but there is a whole list, namely: Schottky diodes, PIN diodes, micro‐nano electromechanical (MEMS/NEMS) devices, microlenses, and so on.

There is more. Most of these techniques have indeed demonstrated the ability to manipulate the physical properties of diamond, paving the way for the exploitation of diamond-based devices in fields of application so far precluded. The most significant example is ultrafast pulsed laser processing, used to turn semi-transparent native diamond into “black” diamond for high-temperature solar cells, or to inscribe graphite electrodes within a bulk diamond crystal for 3D radiation detectors, or even to introduce, at selected locations, coherent colour centres (such as NV centres) for a new generation of quantum information and sensing devices.

This Special Issue aims at giving an overview of the recent progress made in the design, fabrication, and characterization of diamond-based optical, electronic, and optoelectronic devices. Both the long-standing (e.g., RF power electronics, detection of ionizing radiation and particles) and the relatively new (e.g., solar and thermal energy conversion, quantum information processing and sensing) fields of application of diamond will be considered, with a special focus on the tailoring process of the material properties.

It is my pleasure to invite you to submit a manuscript for this Special Issue. Full papers, communications, and reviews are all welcome.

Dr. Marco Girolami
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Materials is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • diamond
  • optical devices
  • electronic devices
  • optoelectronic devices
  • detectors, MEMS/NEMS
  • diamond membranes
  • radioisotope batteries
  • RF electronics
  • ultrafast pulsed laser processing
  • reactive ion etching
  • ion implantation
  • solar energy conversion
  • thermal energy conversion
  • thermionic emission
  • quantum information
  • quantum sensing
  • NV centers

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 2761 KiB  
Article
A Highly Versatile X-ray and Electron Beam Diamond Dosimeter for Radiation Therapy and Protection
by Sara Pettinato, Marco Girolami, Antonella Stravato, Valerio Serpente, Daniela Musio, Maria C. Rossi, Daniele M. Trucchi, Riccardo Olivieri and Stefano Salvatori
Materials 2023, 16(2), 824; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16020824 - 14 Jan 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Radiotherapy is now recognized as a pillar in the fight against cancer. Two different types are currently used in clinical practice: (1) external beam radiotherapy, using high-energy X-rays or electron beams, both in the MeV-range, and (2) intraoperative radiotherapy, using low-energy X-rays (up [...] Read more.
Radiotherapy is now recognized as a pillar in the fight against cancer. Two different types are currently used in clinical practice: (1) external beam radiotherapy, using high-energy X-rays or electron beams, both in the MeV-range, and (2) intraoperative radiotherapy, using low-energy X-rays (up to 50 keV) and MeV-range electron beams. Versatile detectors able to measure the radiation dose independently from the radiation nature and energy are therefore extremely appealing to medical physicists. In this work, a dosimeter based on a high-quality single-crystal synthetic diamond sample was designed, fabricated and characterized under low-energy X-rays, as well as under high-energy pulsed X-rays and electron beams, demonstrating excellent linearity with radiation dose and dose-rate. Detector sensitivity was measured to be 0.299 ± 0.002 µC/Gy under 6 MeV X-ray photons, and 0.298 ± 0.004 µC/Gy under 6 MeV electrons, highlighting that the response of the diamond dosimeter is independent of the radiation nature. Moreover, in the case of low-energy X-rays, an extremely low limit of detection (23 nGy/s) was evaluated, pointing out the suitability of the device to radiation protection dosimetry. Full article
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8 pages, 2313 KiB  
Article
A Diamond-Based Dose-per-Pulse X-ray Detector for Radiation Therapy
by Sara Pettinato, Marco Girolami, Riccardo Olivieri, Antonella Stravato, Cristina Caruso and Stefano Salvatori
Materials 2021, 14(18), 5203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14185203 - 10 Sep 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
One of the goals of modern dynamic radiotherapy treatments is to deliver high-dose values in the shortest irradiation time possible. In such a context, fast X-ray detectors and reliable front-end readout electronics for beam diagnostics are crucial to meet the necessary quality assurance [...] Read more.
One of the goals of modern dynamic radiotherapy treatments is to deliver high-dose values in the shortest irradiation time possible. In such a context, fast X-ray detectors and reliable front-end readout electronics for beam diagnostics are crucial to meet the necessary quality assurance requirements of care plans. This work describes a diamond-based detection system able to acquire and process the dose delivered by every single pulse sourced by a linear accelerator (LINAC) generating 6-MV X-ray beams. The proposed system is able to measure the intensity of X-ray pulses in a limited integration period around each pulse, thus reducing the inaccuracy induced by unnecessarily long acquisition times. Detector sensitivity under 6-MV X-photons in the 0.1–10 Gy dose range was measured to be 302.2 nC/Gy at a bias voltage of 10 V. Pulse-by-pulse measurements returned a charge-per-pulse value of 84.68 pC, in excellent agreement with the value estimated (but not directly measured) with a commercial electrometer operating in a continuous integration mode. Significantly, by intrinsically holding the acquired signal, the proposed system enables signal processing even in the millisecond period between two consecutive pulses, thus allowing for effective real-time dose-per-pulse monitoring. Full article
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18 pages, 6947 KiB  
Article
Fabry-Perot Pressure Sensors Based on Polycrystalline Diamond Membranes
by Sara Pettinato, Daniele Barettin, Vadim Sedov, Victor Ralchenko and Stefano Salvatori
Materials 2021, 14(7), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14071780 - 4 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2145
Abstract
Pressure sensors based on diamond membranes were designed and tested for gas pressure measurement up to 6.8 MPa. The diamond film (2” diameter, 6 μm thickness)—grown by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition on a silicon substrate—was a starting material to produce an array [...] Read more.
Pressure sensors based on diamond membranes were designed and tested for gas pressure measurement up to 6.8 MPa. The diamond film (2” diameter, 6 μm thickness)—grown by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition on a silicon substrate—was a starting material to produce an array of membranes with different diameters in the 130–400 μm range, in order to optimize the sensor performance. Each 5 mm × 5 mm sensing element was obtained by subsequent silicon slicing. The fixed film thickness, full-scale pressure range, and sensor sensitivity were established by a proper design of the diameter of diamond membrane which represents the sensing element for differential pressure measurement. The pressure-induced deflection of the membrane was optically measured using a Fabry-Pérot interferometer formed by a single mode optical fiber front surface and the deflecting diamond film surface. The optical response of the system was numerically simulated using geometry and the elastic properties of the diamond diaphragm, and was compared with the experiments. Depending on the diamond membrane’s diameter, the fabricated sensors displayed a good modulation depth of response over different full-scale ranges, from 3 to 300 bar. In view of the excellent mechanical, thermal, and chemical properties of diamond, such pressure sensors could be useful for performance in a harsh environment. Full article
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12 pages, 5444 KiB  
Article
Femtosecond-Laser Nanostructuring of Black Diamond Films under Different Gas Environments
by Marco Girolami, Alessandro Bellucci, Matteo Mastellone, Stefano Orlando, Valerio Serpente, Veronica Valentini, Riccardo Polini, Elisa Sani, Tilde De Caro and Daniele M. Trucchi
Materials 2020, 13(24), 5761; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13245761 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2234
Abstract
Irradiation of diamond with femtosecond (fs) laser pulses in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions results in the formation of surface periodic nanostructures able to strongly interact with visible and infrared light. As a result, native transparent diamond turns into a completely different material, namely [...] Read more.
Irradiation of diamond with femtosecond (fs) laser pulses in ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions results in the formation of surface periodic nanostructures able to strongly interact with visible and infrared light. As a result, native transparent diamond turns into a completely different material, namely “black” diamond, with outstanding absorptance properties in the solar radiation wavelength range, which can be efficiently exploited in innovative solar energy converters. Of course, even if extremely effective, the use of UHV strongly complicates the fabrication process. In this work, in order to pave the way to an easier and more cost-effective manufacturing workflow of black diamond, we demonstrate that it is possible to ensure the same optical properties as those of UHV-fabricated films by performing an fs-laser nanostructuring at ambient conditions (i.e., room temperature and atmospheric pressure) under a constant He flow, as inferred from the combined use of scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and spectrophotometry analysis. Conversely, if the laser treatment is performed under a compressed air flow, or a N2 flow, the optical properties of black diamond films are not comparable to those of their UHV-fabricated counterparts. Full article
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9 pages, 413 KiB  
Article
Electronic Properties of a Synthetic Single-Crystal Diamond Exposed to High Temperature and High Radiation
by Andreo Crnjac, Natko Skukan, Georgios Provatas, Mauricio Rodriguez-Ramos, Michal Pomorski and Milko Jakšić
Materials 2020, 13(11), 2473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13112473 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3738
Abstract
Diamond, as a wide band-gap semiconductor material, has the potential to be exploited under a wide range of extreme operating conditions, including those used for radiation detectors. The radiation tolerance of a single-crystal chemical vapor deposition (scCVD) diamond detector was therefore investigated while [...] Read more.
Diamond, as a wide band-gap semiconductor material, has the potential to be exploited under a wide range of extreme operating conditions, including those used for radiation detectors. The radiation tolerance of a single-crystal chemical vapor deposition (scCVD) diamond detector was therefore investigated while heating the device to elevated temperatures. In this way, operation under both high-temperature and high-radiation conditions could be tested simultaneously. To selectively introduce damage in small areas of the detector material, a 5 MeV scanning proton microbeam was used as damaging radiation. The charge collection efficiency (CCE) in the damaged areas was monitored using 2 MeV protons and the ion beam induced charge (IBIC) technique, indicating that the CCE decreases with increasing temperature. This decreasing trend saturates in the temperature range of approximately 660 K, after which CCE recovery is observed. These results suggest that the radiation hardness of diamond detectors deteriorates at elevated temperatures, despite the annealing effects that are also observed. It should be noted that the diamond detector investigated herein retained its very good spectroscopic properties even at an operation temperature of 725 K (≈2% for 2 MeV protons). Full article
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