Ultrathick, low-stress nanostructured diamond films

Kucheyev, S. O.; Biener, J.; Tringe, J. W.; Wang, Y. M.; Mirkarimi, P. B.; van Buuren, T.; Baker, S. L.; Hamza, A. V.; Brühne, K.; Fecht, H.-J.
May 2005
Applied Physics Letters;5/30/2005, Vol. 86 Issue 22, p221914
Academic Journal
We describe a hot-filament chemical vapor deposition process for growing freestanding nanostructured diamond films, ∼80 μm thick, with residual tensile stress levels ≲90 MPa. We characterize the film microstructure, mechanical properties, chemical bond distribution, and elemental composition. Results show that our films are nanostructured with columnar grain diameters of ≲150 nm and a highly variable grain length along the growth direction of ∼50–1500 nm. These films have a rms surface roughness of ≲200 nm for a 300×400 μm2 scan, which is about one order of magnitude lower than the roughness of typical microcrystalline diamond films of comparable thickness. Soft x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy indicates a large percentage of sp3 bonding in the films, consistent with a high hardness of 66 GPa. Nanoindentation and XANES results are also consistent with a high phase and elemental purity of the films, directly measured by x-ray and electron diffraction, Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, and elastic recoil detection analysis. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy reveals a large density of planar defects within the grains, suggesting a high rate of secondary nucleation during film growth. These films represent a new class of smooth, ultrathick nanostructured diamond.


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