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Electrostatic Grafting of Diamond Nanoparticles: A Versatile Route to Nanocrystalline Diamond Thin Films

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journal contribution
posted on 30.12.2009, 00:00 authored by Hugues A. Girard, Sandrine Perruchas, Céline Gesset, Marc Chaigneau, Laetitia Vieille, Jean-Charles Arnault, Philippe Bergonzo, Jean-Pierre Boilot, Thierry Gacoin
Nanodiamond (ND) seeding is a well-established route toward the CVD (chemical vapor deposition) synthesis of diamond ultrathin films. This method is based on the deposition onto a substrate of diamond nanoparticles which act as pre-existing sp3 seeds. Here, we report on a straightforward method to disperse diamond nanoparticles on a substrate by taking advantage of the electrostatic interactions between the nanodiamonds and the substrate surface coated with a cationic polymer. This layer-by-layer deposition technique leads to reproducible and homogeneous large-scale nanoparticle deposits independent of the substrate’s nature and shape. No specific functionalization of the nanoparticles is required, and low concentrated solutions can be used. The density of NDs on the substrate can be controlled, as shown by in situ ATR-FTIR (attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared) analysis and QCM (quartz crystal microbalance) measurements. Highly dense and compact ND deposits can be obtained, allowing CVD growth of nanocrystalline diamond ultrathin films (70 nm) on various substrates. The synthesis of 3D structured and patterned diamond thin films has also been demonstrated with this method.