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Advances in RF Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectrometry Characterization of Intrinsic and Boron-Doped Diamond Coatings

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posted on 2022-01-25, 18:42 authored by Dhananjay K. Sharma, Ana V. Girão, Patrick Chapon, Miguel A. Neto, Filipe J. Oliveira, Rui F. Silva
Accurate determination of the effective doping range within diamond thin films is important for fine-tuning of electrical conductivity. Nevertheless, it is not easily attainable by the commonly adopted techniques. In this work, pulsed RF glow discharge optical emission spectrometry (GD-OES) combined with ultrafast sputtering (UFS) is applied for the first time to acquire elemental depth profiles of intrinsic diamond coatings and boron content bulk distribution in films. The GD-OES practical advances presented here enabled quick elemental profiling with noteworthy depth resolution and determination of the film interfaces. The erosion rates and layer thicknesses were measured using differential interferometric profiling (DIP), demonstrating a close correlation between the coating thickness and the carbon/hydrogen gas ratio. Moreover, DIP and the adopted semiquantification methodology revealed a nonhomogeneous bulk distribution of boron within the diamond crystalline structure, i.e., boron doping is both substitutional and interstitial within the diamond framework. DIP measurements also showed that effective boron doping is not linearly correlated to the increasing content introduced into the diamond coating. This is a finding well supported by X-ray diffraction (XRD) Rietveld refinement and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). This work demonstrates the advantage of applying advanced GD-OES operation modes due to its ease of use, affordability, accuracy, and high-speed depth profile analysis capability.

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