Synthesis, characterisation and applications of diamond materials

  • Shi Su

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis presented a detailed research work on diamond materials. Chapter 1 is an overall
    introduction of the thesis. In the Chapter 2, the literature review on the physical, chemical, optical, mechanical, as well as other properties of diamond materials are summarised. Followed by this chapter, several advanced diamond growth and characterisation techniques used in
    experimental work are also introduced. Then, the successful installation and applications of
    chemical vapour deposition system was demonstrated in Chapter 4. Diamond growth on a variety of different substrates has been investigated such as on silicon, diamond-like carbon or silica fibres. In Chapter 5, the single crystalline diamond substrate was used as the substrate to perform femtosecond laser inscription. The results proved the potentially feasibility of this technique, which could be utilised in fabricating future biochemistry microfluidic channels on diamond substrates. In Chapter 6, the hydrogen-terminated nanodiamond powder was studied using impedance spectroscopy. Its intrinsic electrical properties and its thermal stability were presented and analysed in details. As the first PhD student within Nanoscience Research Group at Aston, my initial research work was focused on the installation and testing of the microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition system (MPECVD), which will be beneficial to all the future researchers in the group. The fundamental of the on MPECVD system will be introduced in details. After optimisation of the growth parameters, the uniform diamond deposition has been achieved with a good surface coverage and uniformity. Furthermore, one of the most significant contributions of this work is the successful pattern inscription on diamond substrates by femtosecond laser system. Previous research of femtosecond laser inscription on diamond was simple lines or dots, with little characterisation techniques were used. In my research work, the femtosecond laser has been successfully used to inscribe patterns on diamond substrate and fully characterisation techniques, e.g. by SEM, Raman, XPS, as well as AFM, have been carried out. After the femtosecond laser inscription, the depth of microfluidic channels on diamond film has been found to be 300~400 nm, with a graphitic layer thickness of 165~190 nm. Another important outcome of this work is the first time to characterise the electrical properties of hydrogenterminated nanodiamond with impedance spectroscopy. Based on the experimental evaluation and mathematic fitting, the resistance of hydrogen-terminated nanodiamond reduced to 0.25 MO, which were four orders of magnitude lower than untreated nanodiamond. Meanwhile, a theoretical equivalent circuit has been proposed to fit the results. Furthermore, the hydrogenterminated nanodiamond samples were annealed at different temperature to study its thermal
    stability. The XPS and FTIR results indicate that hydrogen-terminated nanodiamond will start to oxidize over 100ºC and the C-H bonds can survive up to 400ºC. This research work reports the fundamental electrical properties of hydrogen-terminated nanodiamond, which can be used in future applications in physical or chemical area.
    Date of Award1 Nov 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorHaitao Ye (Supervisor) & Lin Zhang (Supervisor)


    • diamond
    • nanodiamond
    • nanotechnology
    • microwave plasma-enhanced CVD
    • raman spectroscopy
    • femtosecond laser
    • impedance spectroscopy

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