Low-Pressure, Metastable Growth of Diamond and "Diamondlike" Phases

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Science  19 Aug 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4868, pp. 913-921
DOI: 10.1126/science.241.4868.913


Diamond may be grown at low pressures where it is the metastable form of carbon. Recent advances in a wide variety of plasma and electrical discharge methods have led to dramatic increases in growth rates. All of these methods have certain aspects in common, namely, the presence of atomic hydrogen and the production of energetic carbon-containing fragments under conditions that support high mobilities on the diamond surface. Some understanding of the processes taking place during nucleation and growth of diamond has been achieved, but detailed molecular mechanisms are not yet known. Related research has led to the discovery of a new class of materials, the "diamondlike" phases. Vapor-grown diamond and diamondlike materials may have eventual applications in abrasives, tool coatings, bearing surfaces, electronics, optics, tribological surfaces, and corrosion protection.

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