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Zdeněk Remeš, Alexandr Kromka, Milan Vaněček

Towards optical-quality nanocrystalline diamond with reduced non-diamond content

Physica Status Solidi A 206 (2009) 2004–2008

Our nominally undoped nanocrystalline diamond (NCD) films were deposited on fused silica substrates by the microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (MW CVD) at a relatively low temperature below 600 degrees C. They show high dark resistivity and measurable photosensitivity after surface oxidation. We present the "true" optical absorptance spectra calculated from transmittance T and reflectance R measurements corrected on the surface scattering and compare them with the normalized photocurrent spectra. The optical scattering does not allow to evaluate the small optical absorption in visible and near IR range from the T and R spectra. The photocurrent spectra were measured in the ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared optical range using the dual beam photocurrent spectroscopy (DBP) under constant UV illumination. Previously, NCD films often showed non-diamond content with the photo-ionization threshold at 0.8 eV increasing significantly the optical absorption in near IR and visible region. Here, we show that the non-diamond content can be reduced by several orders of magnitude by depositing NCD on the carefully selected UV-grade fused silica substrates under the optimized growth conditions followed by the post-deposition chemical etching and cleaning. Unlike the NCD layers with high non-diamond content, the NCD layers with reduced non-diamond content are stable up to 450 degrees C.

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