Artificial diamond is an ideal material for high power, high voltage electronic devices, and for engineering use in extreme environments. Diamond process development requires parallel development in characterization techniques such as ultra low energy SIMS (uleSIMS), especially in the ability to depth profile for impurities and dopants at high depth resolution. As a contribution to the background knowledge required, we have measured the sputter yields of single crystal high pressure high temperature (HPHT) diamond using O-2(+), Cs+ and Ar+ primary ions in the energy range 300 eV to 2 keV. We compare these with yields for silicon and GaAs. We show that the erosion rates with oxygen are similar to 10 times what would be expected from ballistic processes and essentially energy independent in the measured range. This result agrees with the anomalously high sputter yield observed in the ion etching context. Conversely, positive ion yields for elements such as boron are very low in comparison with silicon. This points to a reactive ion etching process liberating CO or CO2 rather than sputtering as the principal erosion process. This is both problematic and beneficial for SIMS analysis. Oxygen can be used to reach buried structures in diamond efficiently, and the effects of the near-normal incidence beam are planarizing as they are in silicon. Conversely, since positive ion yields are low, alternative probes or strategies must be found for high sensitivity profiling of electropositive elements. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
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