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Published September 15, 1993 | public
Journal Article Open

Observation of surface charge screening and Fermi level pinning on a synthetic, boron-doped diamond


Spectroscopic current-voltage (I-V) curves taken with a scanning tunneling microscope on a synthetic, boron-doped diamond single crystal indicate that the diamond, boiled in acid and baked to 500 °C in vacuum, does not exhibit ideal Schottky characteristics. These I-V curves taken in ultrahigh vacuum do not fit the traditional theory of thermionic emission; however, the deviation from ideal can be accounted for by charge screening at the diamond surface. At ambient pressure, the I-V curves have a sharp threshold voltage at 1.7 eV above the valence band edge indicating pinning of the Fermi energy. This measurement is in excellent agreement with the 1/3 band gap rule of Mead and Spitzer [Phys. Rev. 134, A713 (1964)].

Additional Information

Copyright © 1993 American Institute of Physics (Received 8 December 1992; accepted 21 May 1993) This work was supported by the NIH National Research Science Award and the Office of Naval Research. SIMS analyses were generously performed by Dr. Robert G. Wilson of Hughes Research Laboratories. XPS work was done with Dr. Richard Vasquez at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. S. Baker thanks Dr. William Kaiser of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for valuable discussions, and General Electric, Schenectady, NY, for use of their synthetic diamonds.


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