Research Highlight

Scratching diamonds

Biplab Das

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.328 Published online 30 November 2008

Scratching diamond films grown over silicon and macroporous silicon with diamond power, researchers have built diamond films with wonderful properties1. These diamond films are good candidate for micromechanical structures, such as cogs and wheels.

Some remarkable physical properties of diamond led the researchers to fiddle with diamond films grown in a hot filament chemical vapour deposition (CVD) system. CVD involves a gas phase chemical reaction on a solid surface, which causes deposition onto that surface. In this case, the researchers deposited diamond films on porous silicon surface. Then they scratched the surface with diamond powder.

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) study showed that diamond powder scratching of porous silicon leads to uniform coverage of the substrate by the CVD diamond. Discontinuous diamond films also exhibited emission corresponding to nanocrystalline diamond, diamond like carbon, graphite, and silicon carbide.

Growth of such films is significant as diamond could also potentially be used in micromachines. Diamond has a similar response to damage by X-rays and gamma-rays as human tissue. A possible application is in medical applications as a dosimeter for radiation exposure.


  1. Arora, K. S. et al. Growth and field emission characteristics of diamond films on macroporous silicon substrate. J. Appl. Phys.104, 103524 (2008) | Article |