Impurity atom configurations in diamond and their visibility via scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging

Diana Propst, Jani Kotakoski, Elina Harriet Ahlgren

Dispersed impurities in diamond present a flourishing platform for research in quantum informatics, spintronics and single phonon emitters. Based on the vast pool of experimental and theoretical work describing impurity atoms in diamond, we review the configurations by the chemical element discussing the relevant atomic configurations and most important properties. Dopant structures expand from single to co-doping configurations, also combined with carbon vacancies. Despite of their importance, not much is known about the exact atomic configurations associated with the dopant structures beyond computational models, partially due to difficulties in their microscopic observation. To assess the visibility of these structures, we carry out image simulations to show that the heavier dopants may be easily discernible in scanning transmission electron microscopy annular dark field images, with a window of visibility of up to over ± 10 nm in defocus. We further present the first atomic resolution images of an impurity atom configuration (substitutional Er atom) in the diamond lattice, confirmed by a comparison to the simulated images. Overall, our results demonstrate that there is a vast research field waiting for the microscopy community in resolving the exact atomic structure of various impurity atom configurations in diamond.

Physics of Nanostructured Materials
Electronic Structure
No. of pages
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
103018 Materials physics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials, Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Chemistry, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Electrochemistry
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