Structural transformation of C+ implanted diamond and lift-off process

Xiaohua Zhu, Siyi Chan, Xiaolu Yuan, Juping Tu, Siwu Shao, Yuwei Jia, Liangxian Chen, Junjun Wei, Jinlong Liu*, Hiroshi Kawarada, Chengming Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Lift-off is a promising method to prepare thin, high-finish, and freestanding large-area single crystal and polycrystalline diamonds. However, accurate control of the damage layer characteristic to achieve both stress release and lift-off process is difficult. In this work, high-energy C+ was implanted in single crystal diamond and polycrystalline diamond to create subsurface damage. The defect behavior and structural transformation of the ion implantation and annealing process were investigated. The homoepitaxial growth was subsequently carried out and the epitaxial layer was lifted off from the substrate by selectively etching the damaged layer. The results show that the cap layer and the substrate (below the damage layer) keep the sp3 carbon structure before and after annealing, which is confirmed by the atomic-scale electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS). The high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) images show that after annealing at 1000 °C for 1 h, the damaged layer was transformed from amorphous carbon to a mixture of graphite and amorphous carbon, providing the damaged layer that could be removed by electrochemical solution. Meanwhile, the distorted diamond area was changed to a sharp interface, which ensures the low roughness of the substrate surface after the lift-off process. After etching for 30 h, a freestanding polycrystalline diamond film with a thickness of 100 μm and a surface roughness of 1.68 nm was obtained. The roughness of the lift-off substrate surface is 1.10 nm, indicating the epitaxial growth can be repeated directly without polishing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109525
JournalDiamond and Related Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Annealing
  • C implantation
  • Diamond
  • Epitaxial growth
  • Lift-off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Chemistry
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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