Chemical, electronic and electrochemical properties of diamond thin films
Diamond is of interest as an advanced functional material, since the extreme physical properties of diamond, suggests it is ideally suited to a range of new demanding applications. In this context, the thesis explores basic surface chemical properties of diamond thin films, along with electrochemical, electronic and electron emission processes involving this material. New experiments are reported concerning the nature of surface conductivity on diamond. Measurements clearly show that the conductivity only arises if a hydrogenated diamond surface is exposed to water vapour, in the presence of chemical species capable of acting as electron acceptors. The conduction properties of surface conductive diamond in aqueous solution are also studied, and the first detailed electrochemical investigations of this material are described. Comparative electrochemical studies of nanocrystalline and boron-doped diamond have been performed. Investigations of electrode stability, and the accessible "potential window" are described, as well as the behaviour of a range of 'redox' systems, including transition metal complexes, metal deposition/stripping, and bio-related organic species. Significant differences between the behaviour of nanodiamond and microcrystalline boron-doped material are observed. A range of surface chemical and threshold photoemission studies of diamond thin films are reported. The results indicate that quantum photoyields (QPYs) are insensitive to the diamond "quality", although the wavelength selectivity is dependent on it. The adsorption of oxygen strongly reduces the QPY, although this only occurs slowly in the presence of O2 because of a low reactive sticking probability. Much more rapid uptake of oxygen and consequent reduction of photoyield is observed in the presence of atomic O or electronically excited dioxygen O2*. The presence of alkali metals on the diamond surface increases the QPY, and reduces the sensitivity of the QPY to surface oxygen. Significant differences between the surface chemical properties of Li, and other adsorbed akali metals (K and Cs) are observed.