Scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy on superconducting diamond films

Terukazu Nishizaki*, Yoshihiko Takano, Masanori Nagao, Tomohiro Takenouchi, Hiroshi Kawarada, Norio Kobayashi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We report on scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/STS) experiments on (111)-oriented epitaxial films of heavily boron-doped diamond grown by microwave plasma-assisted chemical vapor deposition. STM/STS measurements were performed by 3He-refrigerator-based STM under ultrahigh vacuum. The STM topography on the film surface shows microstructures with a size of ∼ 5 - 20 nm and two types of atomic structures: a hydrogenated 1×1 structure, C(111)1×1:H, and an amorphous structure. The tunneling spectra are analyzed by a modified Bardeen, Cooper, and Schrieffer (BCS) expression, and the superconducting energy gap is estimated to be Δ = 0.83 - 0.87 meV at T = 0.47 K. The obtained gap ratio 2Δ/kBTc = 3.57 - 3.7 is consistent with the weak-coupling BCS theory. The relatively large value of the broadening parameter Γ ∼ 0.38 meV is discussed in terms of the inelastic electron-scattering processes. In the low-temperature region (T = 0.47 K), the tunneling conductance spectra do not show strong spatial dependence, and superconductivity is observed independent of the surface structures. In the high-temperature region (T= 4.2 K), on the other hand, the tunneling conductance spectra show significant spatial dependence, indicating the inhomogeneous distribution of the superconducting property due to the distribution of boron atoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalNew Diamond and Frontier Carbon Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 2


  • Boron-doped diamond films
  • Energy gap
  • Scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy
  • Superconductivity
  • Surface structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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