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Chemical mechanical polishing of thin film diamond

Thomas, Evan L. H., Nelson, Geoffrey W., Mandal, Soumen, Foord, John S. and Williams, Oliver A. 2014. Chemical mechanical polishing of thin film diamond. Carbon 68 , pp. 473-479. 10.1016/j.carbon.2013.11.023

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The demonstration that Nanocrystalline Diamond (NCD) can retain the superior Young’s modulus (1100 GPa) of single crystal diamond twinned with its ability to be grown at low temperatures (<450 °C) has driven a revival into the growth and applications of NCD thin films. However, owing to the competitive growth of crystals the resulting film has a roughness that evolves with film thickness, preventing NCD films from reaching their full potential in devices where a smooth film is required. To reduce this roughness, films have been polished using Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP). A Logitech Tribo CMP tool equipped with a polyurethane/polyester polishing cloth and an alkaline colloidal silica polishing fluid has been used to polish NCD films. The resulting films have been characterised with Atomic Force Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy. Root mean square roughness values have been reduced from 18.3 nm to 1.7 nm over 25 μm2, with roughness values as low as 0.42 nm over ∼0.25 μm2. A polishing mechanism of wet oxidation of the surface, attachment of silica particles and subsequent shearing away of carbon has also been proposed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0008-6223
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 8 November 2013
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2020 14:38

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