Growing diamond on unusual substrates

  • Ed J W Smith

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Diamond growth via chemical vapour deposition (CVD) is a powerful method, unlocking diamond’s extreme properties to be used for a huge range of applications. Within this thesis, CVD diamond growth is performed on a variety of uncommon substrates.
Nanostructured surfaces can have bactericidal properties, and prior work has shown that by diamond-coating a particular nanostructured material – black silicon – can be an effective means to enhance the bactericidal properties. Fluorine-termination of the surfaces was able to enhance the ability of black silicon and diamond-coated black silicon to kill bacteria and resist bacterial growth.
Gallium nitride has begun to see demand for use in high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) but is currently limited by the difficulty in removing the generated heat from these devices. With a specialised seeding technique using a mixture of micro- and nano-crystalline diamond and an aluminium nitride interlayer, diamond was grown with a very low thermal resistance at the interface (TBReff = 1.41 ± 0.35 m² K GW⁻¹), almost an order of magnitude lower than the current state-of-the-art.
Block copolymers self-assembled into micelles were explored as a means of producing nano- to micro-scale templated diamond with control over the shape and size of the resultant structures. In order for growth to occur reliably, a step was developed to convert the polymer into a suitable diamond seeding. Using these micelles, many of the parameters commonly used in diamond growth were analysed from a unique perspective.
Date of Award25 Jan 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bristol
SupervisorPaul W May (Supervisor) & David J Fermin (Supervisor)

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