Laser vibrational excitation of radicals to prevent crystallinity degradation caused by boron doping in diamond

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Science Advances  20 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabc7547
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc7547


Pursuing high-level doping without deteriorating crystallinity is prohibitively difficult but scientifically crucial to unleashing the hidden power of materials. This study demonstrates an effective route for maintaining lattice integrity during the combustion chemical vapor deposition of highly conductive boron-doped diamonds (BDDs) through laser vibrational excitation of a growth-critical radical, boron dihydride (BH2). The improved diamond crystallinity is attributed to a laser-enabled, thermal nonequilibrium suppression of the relative abundance of boron hydrides (BH), whose excessive presence induces boron segregation and disturbs the crystallization. The BDDs show a boron concentration of 4.3 × 1021 cm−3, a film resistivity of 28.1 milliohm·cm, and hole mobility of 55.6 cm2 V−1 s−1, outperforming a commercial BDD. The highly conductive and crystalline BDDs exhibit enhanced efficiency in sensing glucose, confirming the advantages of laser excitation in producing high-performance BDD sensors. Regaining crystallinity with laser excitation in doping process could remove the long-standing bottlenecks in semiconductor industry.

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