Sep 7, 2010
High frequency pulsed MW-linear antenna plasmas configured for NCD
The ability to grow high-quality nano-crystalline diamond (NCD) layers at low temperatures and over large areas opens up the potential for many applications such as MEMS devices, lateral field emission diodes, biosensors and thermoelectrics. The road to such layers forms the focus of Fendrych and co-workers' research at The Institute of Physics in Prague, Czech Republic. Via an innovative arrangement of linear antennas in a MW PECVD process, the use of high-frequency pulsed microwaves and the optimisation of gas chemistry, high quality NCD layers have been produced.
But what does high-quality mean? Of course there are many important properties. So far, in the case of the reported films, low non-diamond content (sp2) has been confirmed by Raman spectroscopy along with low surface roughness (RMS) shown by atomic force microscopy and a refractive index, measured by ellipsometry, approaching the ideal for diamond.
The team is continuing the development of this technique focusing on the study of the growth parameters, doping of layers (such as Boron to produce conductive NCD layers on large areas), homogeneity of layers and lower growth temperatures all with the aim of making nanocrystalline diamond layers the choice for the next generation of electronic, bio-electronic, optical and protective devices.
The researchers presented their work in J. Phys D:Applied Physics.
About the author
The work was performed at the Department of Functional Materials, Institute of Physics, Prague, Czech Republic by the Materials for Nanosystems and Biointerfaces (MNB) group. Funding was provided by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic grants KAN200100801, KAN300100801, KAN301370701, KAN400480701 and European R&D projects FP7 ITN Grant No. 238201 (MATCON) and COST MP0901 (NanoTP). Dr. Fendrych is the leader of the MNB group and deputy head of the department.