Ultrananocrystalline Diamond Films from Fullerene Precursors

  • Dieter M. Gruen


Fullerenes are unique sources of carbon vapor. The molecule C60 has an equivalent carbon vapor pressure near to 1 Torr at the very modest temperature of 600 °C. Fragmentation produces primarily carbon dimer C2, resulting in highly supersaturated carbon vapor, which condenses, surprisingly, to form ultrananocrystalline diamond films. This new form of diamond (3–5 nm crystallite size) is phase-pure as established by a variety of techniques. Theoretical calculations provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the insertion of C2 into the (110) and (100) faces of the diamond lattice and show that the carbons are largely π-bonded across two-atom-wide grain boundaries. The electrical conductivity can be controlled by nitrogen additions over many orders of magnitude and results in n-type doping. Tribological, electronic, and MEMS applications of these unusual materials are discussed.


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter M. Gruen
    • 1
  1. 1.Materials Science DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryArgonneUSA

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