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.