Dislocation generation mechanisms in heavily boron-doped diamond epilayers
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DepartmentCiencia de los Materiales e Ingeniería Metalúrgica y Química Inorgánica; Física Aplicada
SourceAppl. Phys. Lett. 118, 052108 (2021)
Doping diamond layers for electronic applications has become straightforward during the last two decades. However, dislocation generation in diamond during the microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition growth process is still not fully understood. This is a truly relevant topic to avoid for an optimal performance of any device, but, usually, it is not considered when designing diamond structures for electronic devices. The incorporation of a dopant, here boron, into a lattice as close as that of diamond, can promote the appearance of dislocations in the epilayer. The present contribution analyzes the different processes that can take place in this epilayer and gives some rules to avoid the formation of dislocations, based on the comparison of the different dislocation generation mechanisms. Indeed, competitive mechanisms, such as doping atom proximity effect and lattice strain relaxation, are here quantified for heavily boron-doped diamond epilayers. The resulting growth condition windows for defect-free heavily doped diamond are here deduced, introducing the diamond parameters and its lattice expansion in several previously published critical thickness (h(c)) and critical doping level relationships for different doping levels and growth conditions. Experimental evidence supports the previously discussed thickness-doping-growth condition relationships. Layers with and without dislocations reveal that not only the thickness but also other key factors such as growth orientation and growth parameters are important, as dislocations are shown to be generated in epilayers with a thickness below the People and Bean critical thickness.