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Molybdenum Interlayers for Nucleation Enhancement in Diamond CVD Growth

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The use of a 50-nm thick Mo interlayer on silicon substrates for the nucleation enhancement of microcrystalline diamond (MCD) and nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) films synthesized by hot filament chemical vapour deposition was studied. The MCD and NCD films were deposited using methane concentrations of 1% and 2%, respectively. The presence of a Mo nucleation layer enabled the formation of more uniform NCD films with reduced surface roughness (rms roughness ∼40 nm for a 750-nm thick layer) and with significantly less interfacial voids due to the superior nucleation densities and surface coverage in the early stages of NCD film formation. During the initial stages of MCD film growth, the nucleation density increased by one order of magnitude as compared to uncoated silicon. As a result, much thinner MCD films with smaller surface grain sizes and, thus, reduced surface roughness could be produced as well. The presence of a Mo nucleation layer not only leads to a structural optimization of NCD and MCD films but also allows fast nucleation and film growth kinetics at relatively low substrate temperatures (∼575 °C), relevant for the coating of substrate materials that do not withstand high substrate temperatures.
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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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