Nucleation and growth mechanism of diamond during hot-filament chemical vapour deposition
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High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) was employed to study the nucleation and subsequent growth mechanism of crystalline diamond grown on copper TEM grids by the hot-filament chemical vapour deposition process. The HRTEM revealed direct evidence for the formation of a diamond-like amorphous carbon layer 8–14 nm thick, in which small diamond microcrystallites about 2–5 nm across were embedded. These diamond microcrystallites were formed as a result of direct transformation of the diamond-like carbon into diamond. Large diamond crystallites were observed to grow from these microcrystallites. The diamond surface was found to be non-uniform. It is envisaged that the diamond microcrystallites present in the amorphous, diamond-like carbon layer provide nucleation sites on which the large diamond crystallites grew. A mechanism of diamond growth has been proposed, based on the experimental findings, and is consistent with available theoretical models and numerous experimental observations reported in the literature.
KeywordsHRTEM Growth Mechanism Amorphous Carbon Carbon Layer Chemical Vapour Deposition Process
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