Nano-diamond films with a mean grain size of 20 nm have been successfully prepared on silicon substrate by microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition (MPCVD) technique using gas mixture of nitrogen-methane-hydrogen. The structure and surface morphology of the films are examined using X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Field emission results show that good crystal quality nano-diamond film has a threshold electric field of 3 V/μm, much lower than the typical threshold electric field of diamond films grown using conventional gas mixture of hydrogen-methane, indicating that nano-diamond film is a good candidate for electron emitter material. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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