Argonne National Laboratory Center for Nanoscale Materials U.S. Department of Energy

Research Advances using Ultrananocrystalline Diamond

Ultrananocrystalline Diamond A recent article in IEEE Microwave Magazine poses the question: "Are diamonds a MEMS' bestfriend?" Argonne researchers, including CNM scientists Orlando Auciello and Anirudha V. Sumant, as well as CNM user Robert W. Carpick of the University of Pennsylvania, demonstrate that a number of unique material properties make diamond an attractive candidate over silicon not only for RF MEMS resonator applications but also for MEMS/NEMS devices in general.

These researchers have also teamed up with CNM users D. Grierson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Jennifer Gerbi (Argonne National Laboratory), and John Carlisle (Advanced Diamond Technologies) to report on "Surface chemistry and bonding configuration of ultrananocrystalline diamond surfaces and their effects on nanotribological properties" in Phys. Rev. B, 76, 235429 (2007). Here they present a comprehensive study of ultrananocrystalline diamond UNCD surfaces (both top and bottom), including the influence of film nucleation, using XANES, XPS, AES, and quantitative AFM. They show how the surface chemistry and morphology of the UNCD influence adhesion (stiction) and friction at nanoscale as well as how the UNCD surface can be "engineered" to have properties that are suitable for fabricating MEMS/NEMS devices.

Auciello and Sumant were also featured on CNN for their work on developing UNCD-based sensors for detecting bioterrorism.

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