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Diamond surface conductivity: Properties, devices, and sensors

  • Christopher I. Pakes (a1), Jose A. Garrido (a2) and Hiroshi Kawarada (a3)

Abstract

Hydrogen termination of diamond lowers its ionization energy, driving electron transfer from the valence band into an adsorbed water layer or to a strong molecular acceptor. This gives rise to p-type surface conductivity with holes confined to a subsurface layer of a few nanometers thickness. The transfer doping mechanism, the electronic behavior of the resulting hole accumulation layer, and the development of robust field-effect transistor (FET) devices using this platform are reviewed. An alternative method of modulating the hole carrier density has been developed based upon an electrolyte-gate architecture. The operation of the resulting “solution-gated” FET architecture in two contemporary applications will be described: the charge state control of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond and biosensing. Despite 25 years of work in this area, our knowledge of surface conductivity of diamond continues to develop.

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