Surface conductivity of hydrogenated diamond films

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 Mar 14;100(10):106801. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.106801. Epub 2008 Mar 10.


The experimentally observed high surface conductivity of hydrogenated diamond films is explained through ab initio results as well as model calculations based on the tight-binding molecular dynamics method. Our results support the previously reported experimental results indicating that the surface conductivity of the hydrogenated diamond surfaces is due to the surface adsorption of a H(3)O(+) monolayer. Specifically, it is shown that the presence of the H(3)O(+) adlayer results in the formation of an electrostatic surface dipole moment which makes the potential of the surface H layer effectively more attractive. This, in turn, ignites charge transfer from the diamond lattice to the surface layer creating, thus, the necessary charge carriers (holes) for the observed high conductivity.