The development of diamond thin films is carried out by chemical vapour deposition assisted by micro-wave plasma.
Depending on the synthesis conditions and on the nature of the substrates, it is possible to control their microstructure (microcrystalline, polycrystalline, textured, epitaxied films) and to a certain extent to limit the intrinsic defects of this kind of coating.
Two types of functionalization are currently envisaged using such diamond thin films:
- the creation of nano-porous membranes that are impossible to obtain using RIE techniques, for applications as molecular biological filters or as inert supports of polymer electrolytes, for example in fuel cells,
- the production of diamond/nanotube composites for electrochemical applications.
Nano-etching is obtained by an interaction between the diamond crystalline surfaces and the transition metal nano-drops, where the formation conditions allow the etching speed and nano-trench size to be adjusted.
In slightly different conditions, the metal nano-drops allow the synthesis of carbon nanowires (Carbon NanoTube CNT, Diamond NanoWires DNW), either half-buried or at the surface of the diamond.
The physical, chemical and structural properties of these elements are now being studied.