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The chemical stability of three heterosubstrates (Si, 3C-SiC and iridium) has been studied using the same MPCVD reactor during the successive steps of BEN process. An in situ sequential approach allows a monitoring of the chemical modifications induced by interactions between plasma and surfaces. Contrary to silicon, 3C-SiC and iridium underwent weak surface evolutions during BEN. This leads to favourable conditions for the interface formation in agreement with the better Highly Oriented Diamond films reported in the literature. A short description of the nucleation pathways identified for each heterosubstrate is also presented.
The methane effects on nucleation and growth of diamond during bias enhanced nucleation treatment have been studied on 3C-SiC (100) surfaces. At low methane concentration of 1%, no diamond nucleation was observed, whether at 3 %, nucleation density values as high as 4×1010/cm2 were reached. A further increase of the methane concentration up to 5% induces a significant enhancement of the diamond nucleation density that was observed only slightly higher at 7×1010/cm2. Moreover, the Field Emission Gun Scanning Electron Microscopy (FEG-SEM) pictures well emphasized that the methane content affects both the nucleation and growth mechanisms.
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