Materials Science

Making Subsurface Diamonds

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Science  26 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5470, pp. 1301
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5470.1301c

Ion beam implantation is used in the fabrication of silicon devices; for example, in the SIMOX process, implanted oxygen ions are used to create buried insulating layers of silicon dioxide. Heera et al. have studied the implantation of carbon ions (C+) into single crystals of silicon carbide (SiC) at elevated temperatures; high temperatures should help relieve the huge lattice strains caused by the implanted ions. At 300°C, high ion doses formed amorphous carbon, and at 600°C graphite formed. However, at 900°C, small grains of diamond formed (between 2 and 5 nanometers in size), as verified by selected-area electron diffraction. The authors suggest that the tetrahedral coordination of SiC acts as a template for diamond formation.—PDS

Appl. Phys. Lett.76, 2847 (2000).

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