Applying diamond coatings at lower temperatures expands options for electronic devices

Jul 03, 2013

A new method for creating thin films of diamonds, which is described in the journal Applied Physics Letters, produced by AIP Publishing, may allow manufacturers to enhance future electronics.

In industrial and high-tech settings, diamonds are particularly valued for their hardness, optical clarity, smoothness, and resistance to chemicals, radiation and . For , researchers "dope" diamonds in order to make them conductive, introducing the semiconductor boron into the diamond manufacturing process. In the past, it has been a challenge to imbue electronic devices with diamond-like qualities by applying a doped diamond coating, or thin film because the required to apply a doped diamond thin film would destroy sensitive electronics, including biosensors, semiconductors, and photonic and optical devices.

In their Applied Physics Letters paper, a team of researchers at Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc., in Romeoville, Illinois report creating thin films of boron-doped diamond at temperatures low enough (between 460-600°C) to coat many of these devices.

While low-temperature deposition of boron-doped diamond thin films is not conceptually new, the research team found no evidence in the literature of such diamond films that had both sufficient quality and manufacturing rates fast enough to be commercially useful. Tweaking their own normal-temperature boron doping recipe by both lowering the temperature and adjusting the typical ratio of methane to yielded a high quality film without appreciable change in conductivity or smoothness compared to diamond films made at higher temperatures. The researchers say more data and study is needed to better understand low-temperature opportunities.

Even so, by further optimizing the recipe, the researchers expect to be able to deposit boron-doped diamond thin films at temperatures even lower than 400° C.

"The lower the deposition temperature, the larger number of electronic device applications we can enable," said Hongjun Zeng of Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc. "That will further expand the product categories for thin, smooth, conductive diamond coatings," Zeng added.

Explore further: Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms

More information: The article, "Low Temperature Boron Doped Diamond" by Hongjun Zeng, Prabhu U. Arumugam, Shabnam Siddiqui, and John A. Carlisle appears in the journal Applied Physics Letters. dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4809671

Related Stories

Diamonds, nanotubes find common ground in graphene

May 28, 2013

What may be the ultimate heat sink is only possible because of yet another astounding capability of graphene. The one-atom-thick form of carbon can act as a go-between that allows vertically aligned carbon ...

Hot Ice to Lubricate Artificial Joints

Sep 05, 2007

A recent simulation has shown that thin layers of ice could persist on specially treated diamond coatings at temperatures well above body temperature, which could make ice-coated-diamond films an ideal coating ...

Recommended for you

Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms

Oct 18, 2014

Throw a rock through a window made of silica glass, and the brittle, insulating oxide pane shatters. But whack a golf ball with a club made of metallic glass—a resilient conductor that looks like metal—and the glass not ...

Superconducting circuits, simplified

Oct 17, 2014

Computer chips with superconducting circuits—circuits with zero electrical resistance—would be 50 to 100 times as energy-efficient as today's chips, an attractive trait given the increasing power consumption ...

Protons hog the momentum in neutron-rich nuclei

Oct 16, 2014

Like dancers swirling on the dance floor with bystanders looking on, protons and neutrons that have briefly paired up in the nucleus have higher-average momentum, leaving less for non-paired nucleons. Using ...

Cosmic jets of young stars formed by magnetic fields

Oct 16, 2014

Astrophysical jets are counted among our Universe's most spectacular phenomena: From the centers of black holes, quasars, or protostars, these rays of matter sometimes protrude several light years into space. ...

User comments : 4

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

cyberCMDR
not rated yet Jul 03, 2013
Interesting. It this technique becomes common, perhaps it could be applied to other forms of manufacturing. I imagine diamond coated piston cylinders could have interesting effects on possible combustion temperatures and therefore fuel efficiency.
tpb
not rated yet Jul 03, 2013
I've always wondered if a thin film diamond coating would make a durable non-stick surface for cooking pans.
NikFromNYC
1 / 5 (3) Jul 03, 2013
Is it better than Home Depot spray paint, dear pay wall?
Gmr
1 / 5 (4) Jul 04, 2013
Maybe removing the need for petroleum or synthetic lubricant by having diamond on diamond surfaces, at regular combustion temperatures...