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Phys Rev Lett. 2000 Oct 16;85(16):3472-5.

Origin of surface conductivity in diamond

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  • 1Institut fur Technische Physik, Universitat Erlangen, Erwin-Rommel-Strasse 1, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany.


Hydrogen-terminated diamond exhibits a high surface conductivity (SC) that is commonly attributed to the direct action of hydrogen-related acceptors. We give experimental evidence that hydrogen is only a necessary requirement for SC; exposure to air is also essential. We propose a mechanism in which a redox reaction in an adsorbed water layer provides the electron sink for the subsurface hole accumulation layer. The model explains the experimental findings including the fact that hydrogenated diamond is unique among all semiconductors in this respect.

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