HPHT growth and x-ray characterization of high-quality type IIa diamond

R. C. Burns, A. I. Chumakov, S. H. Connell, D. Dube, H. P. Godfried, J. O. Hansen, J. Härtwig, J. Hoszowska, F. Masiello, L. Mkhonza, M. Rebak, A. Rommevaux, R. Setshedi, P. Van Vaerenbergh

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103 Citations (Scopus)


The trend in synchrotron radiation (x-rays) is towards higher brilliance. This may lead to a very high power density, ofthe order of hundreds of watts per square millimetre at the x-ray optical elements. These elements are, typically, windows, polarizers, filters and monochromators. The preferred material for Bragg diffracting optical elements at present is silicon, which can be grown to a very high crystal perfection and workable size as well as rather easily processed to the required surface quality. This allows x-ray optical elements to be built with a sufficient degree of lattice perfection and crystal processing that they may preserve transversal coherence in the x-ray beam. This is important for the new techniques which include phase-sensitive imaging experiments like holo-tomography, x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, coherent diffraction imaging and nanofocusing. Diamond has a lower absorption coefficient than silicon, a better thermal conductivity and lower thermal expansion coefficient which would make it thepreferred material if the crystal perfection (bulk and surface) could be improved. Synthetic HPHT-grown (high pressure, high temperature) type Ib material can readily be produced in the necessary sizes of 4-8mm square and with a nitrogen content of typically a few hundred parts per million. This material has applications in the less demanding roles such as phase plates: however, in a coherence-preserving beamline, where all elements must be of the same high quality, its quality is far from sufficient. Advances in HPHT synthesis methods have allowed the growth of type IIa diamond crystals of the same size as type Ib, but with substantially lower nitrogen content. Characterization of this high purity type IIa material has been carried out with the result that the crystalline (bulk) perfection of some of the HPHT-grown materials is approaching the quality required for the more demanding applications such as imaging applications and imaging applications with coherence preservation. The targets for further development of the type IIa diamond are size, crystal perfection, as measured by the techniques of white beamand monochromatic x-ray diffraction imaging (historically called x-ray topography), and also surface quality. Diamond plates extracted from the cubic growth sector furthest from the seed of the new low strain material produces no measurable broadening of the x-ray rocking curve width. One measures essentially the crystal reflectivity as defined by the intrinsic reflectivity curve (Darwin curve) width of a perfect crystal. In these cases the more sensitive technique of plane wave topography has been used to establish a local upper limit of the strain at the level of an 'effective misorientation' of 10-7rad.

Original languageEnglish
Article number364224
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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