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Title: Boron–oxygen complex yields n-type surface layer in semiconducting diamond

Diamond is a wide-bandgap semiconductor possessing exceptional physical and chemical properties with the potential to miniaturize high-power electronics. Whereas boron-doped diamond (BDD) is a well-known p-type semiconductor, fabrication of practical diamond-based electronic devices awaits development of an effective n-type dopant with satisfactory electrical properties. Here we report the synthesis of n-type diamond, containing boron (B) and oxygen (O) complex defects. We obtain high carrier concentration (∼0.778 × 1021cm−3) several orders of magnitude greater than previously obtained with sulfur or phosphorous, accompanied by high electrical conductivity. In high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) boron-doped diamond single crystal we formed a boron-rich layer ∼1–1.5 μm thick in the {111} surface containing up to 1.4 atomic % B. We show that under certain HPHT conditions the boron dopants combine with oxygen defects to form B–O complexes that can be tuned by controlling the experimental parameters for diamond crystallization, thus giving rise to n-type conduction. First-principles calculations indicate that B3O and B4O complexes with low formation energies exhibit shallow donor levels, elucidating the mechanism of the n-type semiconducting behavior.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 7703-7711
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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