Optimising CVD Diamond Properties for Radiation Detection Applications: Growth Conditions, Defects, and Uniformity

Philippe Bergonzo, Dominique Tromson, Christine Mer, François Foulon, Andrea Brambilla

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    4 Scopus citations


    CVD diamond is a remarkable material for the fabrication of radiation detectors. The radiation hardness, chemical resistance and high-temperature operation capabilities of diamond motivate its use for the fabrication of devices operating in hostile environments such as those encountered in the nuclear industry and high-energy physics. For this purpose, we have grown polycrystalline diamond films using the microwave plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition technique (CVD). Deposition processes were optimised according to the application requirements. This includes the synthesis of films with high sensitivity or with short carrier lifetime. Defect level influence on the detection characteristics were studied: they may be the cause of an observed instability of the device responses. We have found, however, that it is possible to moderate these trends through the fine-tuning of the growth conditions and of the device preparation steps. Films with thicknesses ranging from 5 to 500 μm have been used for detector fabrication. Using a micrometer-size focused X-ray beam, we have also studied the nonuniformity of devices fabricated from polycrystalline diamond. Sensitivity maps were imaged and correlated with the grain structure. We present here recent developments studied at CEA in Saclay for material optimisation for specific applications, including radiation hard counters, X-ray intensity, shape and beam position monitors, solar blind photodetectors, and high dose rate gamma-meters.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)113-128
    Number of pages16
    JournalNew Diamond and Frontier Carbon Technology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2001


    • CVD diamond
    • Defects
    • Growth
    • Radiation detectors


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