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Complementary application of electron microscopy and micro-Raman spectroscopy for microstructure, stress, and bonding defect investigation of heteroepitaxial chemical vapor deposited diamond films

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4 Author(s)
Michler, J. ; Département des matériaux-LMPH, Ecole Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland ; von Kaenel, Y. ; Stiegler, J. ; Blank, E.

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The evolution and interdependence of microstructure, stress, and bonding defects of heteroepitaxial diamond films deposited on silicon substrates has been investigated by applying scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and micro-Raman spectroscopy to the same places in the films. For this purpose, TEM plane-view specimens were prepared and the same grains in the electron transparent areas were characterized by all three methods that allowed crystalline defects and their relation to spectral features of the Raman spectrum to be identified. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first successful complementary application of these methods to diamond films. Concerning microstructure evolution, dislocations in the silicon substrate and a residual plastic deformation of the silicon wafer prove that plastic deformation of the silicon substrate had occurred with the presence of mechanical stress during deposition. Evolutionary selection of randomly oriented, highly defective diamond grains observed at a film thickness of 300 nm leads to a textured film at 4 μm (an intermediate state) consisting of truncated pyramids with defect-free {001} growth sectors, bounded by four {111} growth sectors which exhibit a high density of twins and stacking faults. During further growth, merging of {001} growth sectors begins and apart from the formation of low-angle grain boundaries, the formation of partial wedge disclinations takes place, partly accommodating the misorientation between grains by elastic deformation. The latter process is shown to be more favorable than the formation of low-angle grain boundaries below a certain misorientation. Merging of grains introduces a high number of dislocations and mechanical stress into the {001} growth sectors. The comparison of the Raman spectra with electron micrograph images shows that the G band of the Raman spectrum originates exclusively from grain boundaries having an associ- ated {111} growth sector. Very localized luminescence sources have been detected, not correlating to microstructure elements. Stress inhomogeneities measured within single grains and an earlier observed transition of the biaxial stress state in the film plane to a more complicated stress state after grain merging is shown to originate from disclinations. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:83 ,  Issue: 1 )