New heterostructured materials created by surface functionalisation of diamond

Hydrogen and oxygen terminated diamond surfaces have been studied extensively over the last two decades and the unique properties of these systems have been exploited across a diverse range of applications. Recently, we have established new methodologies for functionalising the diamond surface with other species, including flourine and silicon. The demonstration that an atomically smooth and well-ordered silicon-diamond interface can be formed (Schenk et al., 2015) opens a path to the preparation of new semiconductor heterostructured materials involving carbon; such materials have a variety of potential applications in the areas of quantum information, high-precision magnetometry and sensing.

We are extending this project by exploring other semiconductor-diamond interfaces and by developing protocols for the functionalisation of the heterostructured interface using ex-situ chemical processing. These experiments are aimed at facilitating the ordered bonding of biomolecules to the diamond surface to realise high sensitivity sensing. Additionally, through the use of cryogenic ultra-high scanning tunnelling microscopy techniques, the atomic-scale imaging and manipulation of these new heterostructured surfaces is being investigated.