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Structural characterization of B-doped diamond nanoindentation tips

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 November 2011

David J. Sprouster*
Affiliation:
Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia
Simon Ruffell
Affiliation:
Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia
Jodie E. Bradby
Affiliation:
Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia
James S. Williams
Affiliation:
Department of Electronic Materials Engineering, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia
Mark N. Lockrey
Affiliation:
Microstructural Analysis Unit, University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales 2007, Australia
Matthew R. Phillips
Affiliation:
Microstructural Analysis Unit, University of Technology, Sydney, Broadway, New South Wales 2007, Australia
Ryan C. Major
Affiliation:
Hysitron, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55344
Oden L. Warren
Affiliation:
Hysitron, Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota 55344
*
a)Address all correspondence to this author. e-mail: djs109@physics.anu.edu.au
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Abstract

We report on the electrical and structural properties of boron-doped diamond tips commonly used for in-situ electromechanical testing during nanoindentation. The boron dopant environment, as evidenced by cathodoluminescence (CL) microscopy, revealed significantly different boron states within each tip. Characteristic emission bands of both electrically activated and nonelectrically activated boron centers were identified in all boron-doped tips. Surface CL mapping also revealed vastly different surface properties, confirming a high amount of nonelectrically activated boron clusters at the tip surface. Raman microspectroscopy analysis showed that structural characteristics at the atomic scale for boron-doped tips also differ significantly when compared to an undoped diamond tip. Furthermore, the active boron concentration, as inferred via the Raman analysis, varied greatly from tip-to-tip. It was found that tips (or tip areas) with low overall boron concentration have a higher number of electrically inactive boron, and thus non-Ohmic contacts were made when these tips contacted metallic substrates. Conversely, tips that have higher boron concentrations and a higher number of electrically active boron centers display Ohmic-like contacts. Our results demonstrate the necessity to understand and fully characterize the boron environments, boron concentrations, and atomic structure of the tips prior to performing in situ electromechanical experiments, particularly if quantitative electrical data are required.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2011

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