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Role of Nitrogen Additive and Temperature on Growth of Diamond Films from Nanocrystalline to Polycrystalline

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In this work, the coupled effect of nitrogen addition into CH4/H2 mixtures and surface temperature on diamond growth ranging from large grained polycrystalline to fine-grained nanocrystalline were investigated. Moreover a new growth parameter window for simultaneous growth of nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) and 100 textured large-grained diamond films was developed by using a high power high pressure 5 kW microwave plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) reactor. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are employed to characterize the morphology, crystalline quality and texture of the diamond samples. Our results can be grouped by two catalogs: First, deposition run without and with 0.24% N2 addition, while keeping all the other parameters constant, resulted in a high quality transparent large-grained polycrystalline diamond film and a NCD film, respectively. This result clearly evidences nitrogen induced nanocrystallinity. Then, two different substrate surface temperatures were obtained by overlapping a small silicon slice on the top centre of a large silicon wafer of 5.08 cm in diameter in only one deposition run using 0.24% N2 addition and the same set of parameters as the previous runs. From this growth run, a NCD film of growth rate around 2.3 μm/h was obtained at low temperature, while a 100 textured large-grained diamond film of much higher growth rate about 10.4 μm/h was grown at high temperature. These results not only confirm the reproducibility of NCD by N2 addition, but also indicate that distinct growth modes were involved at different substrate temperatures with 0.24% nitrogen addition, or coupled effect of nitrogen addition and temperature on the growth of CVD diamond films happened. Finite element method (FEM) analysis was employed to simulate the temperature gradient and distribution on these two samples, and based on this simulation and other simulation results in the literature, the growth mechanism is briefly discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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