Diamond Nucleation and Growth

Matt Gebbie, Patrick James McQuade

Classical nucleation theory is applied in many fields, from modeling cloud formation to controlling the growth of electronic materials. However, experimental nucleation rates often greatly exceed the predictions of classical theory, leading to debates surrounding the assumptions underlying classical frameworks. We are using diamondoids as atomic templates to directly measure the diamond nucleation landscape, a previously inaccessible regime in a core physical process. We find that diamond nucleation follows a multi-step pathway that requires unifying classical and non-classical concepts to understand nucleation and growth. We are using these insights to create high quality diamond nanomaterials and design experiments that further test the foundations of nucleation and growth.

Image 1: Representative electron microscopy images of highly crystalline diamond nanoparticles grown from diamondoid seeding.


1. "Direct measurement of diamond nucleation landscape reveals classical and non-classical features."  Matthew A. Gebbie, Hitoshi Ishiwata, Patrick McQuade, Vaclav Petrak, Andy Taylor, Christopher Freiwald, Jeremy E. P. Dahl, Robert M. K. Carlson, Andrey A. Fokin, Peter R. Schreiner, Zhi-Xun Shen, Milos Nesladek and Nicholas A. Melosh. 

2."Vertical-Substrate MPCVD Epitaxial Nanodiamond Growth."Yan-Kai Tzeng, Jingyuan Linda Zhang, Haiyu Lu, Hitoshi Ishiwata, Jeremy Dahl, Robert MK Carlson, Hao Yan, Peter R Schreiner, Jelena Vučković, Zhi-Xun Shen, Nicholas A. Melosh and Steven Chu Nano Lett. 17, pp. 1489-1495 (2017)