Study of the Interface Microstructures of CVD Diamond Films by TEM

Alexander G. Fitzgerald, Yongchang Fan, Phillip John, Claire E. Troupe, J. I. B. Wilson, Anthony O. Tooke, Brian E. Storey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The characteristics of the interface microstructures between a CVD diamond film and the silicon substrate have been studied by transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. The investigations are performed on plan-view TEM specimens which were intentionally thinned only from the film surface side allowing the overall microstructural features of the interface to be studied. A prominent interfacial layer with amorphous-like features has been directly observed for CVD diamond films that shows a highly twinned defective diamond surface morphology. Similar interfacial layers have also been observed on films with a <100> growth texture but having the {100} crystal faces randomly oriented on the silicon substrate. These interfacial layers have been unambiguously identified as diamond phase carbon by both electron diffraction and electron energy loss spectroscopy. For the CVD diamond films that exhibit heteroepitaxial growth features, with the {100} crystal faces aligned crystallographically on the silicon substrate, such an interfacial layer was not observed. This is consistent with the expectation that the epitaxial growth of CVD diamond films requires diamond crystals to directly nucleate and grow on the substrate surface or on an epitaxial interface layer that has a small lattice misfit to both the substrate and the thin film material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-321
Number of pages7
JournalMicrochimica Acta
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2000


  • CVD diamond films
  • Electron energy loss spectroscopy
  • Interface microstructure
  • Transmission electron microscopy


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