The Effect of Various Dopants on Diamond Growth A Combined Experimental & Theoretical Approach
Abstract: Diamond is a unique material with many exceptional properties. It has therefore been proven to be an important material for many applications. Moreover, the introduction of dopant species into the gas phase during the CVD growth process has been shown to strongly influence not only the properties and morphology of diamond, but also the growth rate. The purpose with the theoretical part of the present study has been to support and explain the experimental observations regarding the effect of various dopants (nitrogen, phosphorous, sulphur, and boron) on the diamond growth rate. Commonly observed H-terminated diamond surfaces [(111), (110) and (100)-2×1], were thereby carefully investigated using density functional theory under periodic boundary conditions. Based on the assumption that the hydrogen abstraction reaction is the growth rate-limiting step, both the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of the diamond growth process were found to be severely affected by various dopants. More specifically, the results showed that nitrogen and phosphorous dopants (positioned within the 2nd, 3rd or 4th carbon layer) will cause an enhancement in the growth rate (as compared with non-doped situations). On the other hand, any growth rate improvement does only occur when positioning boron in the 2nd, and sulphur in the 4th, atomic carbon layer. With boron, and sulphur, positioned within the other atomic carbon layers, the growth rates were observed to decrease. In addition, the main purpose with the experimental part of the present study has been to investigate the effect of one specific dopant precursor (TMB) on the boron-doped diamond growth process. The result has shown that the increasing mass flow of TMB will not affect the mechanism of the HFCVD growth process of boron doped diamond. However, a linear boron carrier concentration in the diamond film vs. mass flow rate of TMB was observed.
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