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Electron-affinity and surface-stability of aluminium-oxide terminated diamond surfaces

Lookup NU author(s): James Beattie, Professor Jon Goss, Dr Mark Rayson, Professor Patrick Briddon



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Control over the chemical termination of diamond surfaces has shown great promise in the realization of field-emission applications, the selection of charge states of near-surface color-centers such as NV, and the realization of surface-conductive channels for electronic device applications. Efficient electron-emission exploiting the negative electron-affinity requires a stable surface treatment that can operate over a useful range of temperatures, for which H-termination fails. For compounds involving oxygen, surface geometry and layer stoichiometry are thought to be critical parameters in engineering the desired affinity. In this study, we show that large negative electron-affinities (−2 to −3 eV) are found for surfaces with an AlO 3 stoichiometry, and the formation is exothermic. Higher proportions of Al increases the likelihood of metallic bonding between Al atoms, decreasing the bond-polarity and increasing the electron affinity (making it less negative). AlO 2 and Al 2 O 3 present unfavorable electron affinities, and have a lower thermal stability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Beattie JMA, Goss JP, Rayson MJ, Briddon PR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Diamond and Related Materials

Year: 2019

Volume: 94

Pages: 137-145

Print publication date: 01/04/2019

Online publication date: 02/03/2019

Acceptance date: 09/02/2019

Date deposited: 17/04/2019

ISSN (print): 0925-9635

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.diamond.2019.02.009


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