Oxygen termination of homoepitaxial diamond surface by ozone and chemical methods: An experimental and theoretical perspective
Abstract Phenomena related with the diamond surface of both power electronic and biosensor devices govern their global behaviour. In particular H- or O-terminations lead to wide variations in their characteristics. To study the origins of such aspects in greater depth, different methods to achieve oxygen terminated diamond were investigated following a multi-technique approach. DFT calculations were then performed to understand the different configurations between the C and O atoms. Three methods for O-terminating the diamond surface were performed: two physical methods with ozone at different pressures, and an acid chemical treatment. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, spectroscopic ellipsometry, HRTEM, and EELS were used to characterize the oxygenated surface. Periodic-DFT calculations were undertaken to understand the effect of the different ways in which the oxygen atoms are bonded to carbon atoms on the diamond surface. XPS results showed the presence of hydroxyl or ether groups, composed of simple CO bonds, and the acid treatment resulted in the highest amount of O on the diamond surface. In turn, ellipsometry showed that the different treatments led to the surface having different optical properties, such as a greater refraction index and extinction coefficient in the case of the sample subjected to acid treatment. TEM analysis showed that applying temperature treatment improved the distribution of the oxygen atoms at the interface and that this generates a thinner amount of oxygen at each position and higher interfacial coverage. Finally, DFT calculations showed both an increase in the number of preferential electron transport pathways when π bonds and ether groups appear in the system, and also the presence of states in the middle of the band gap when there are π bonds, CC or CO. Highlights The acid treatment shows the highest amount of O on the diamond surface. XPS results shows the presence of hydroxyl or ether groups, that is simple CO bond. The O distribution at the interface is improved applying temperature treatment. The presence of states in the middle of band gap is observed when there are π bonds. DFT calculations showed an increase in the preferential electron transport pathways. Graphical abstract [DISPLAY OMISSION]
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