An Investigation of Processing Techniques and Characterisation Methods for 3D Diamond Detectors

  • Steven Murphy

Student thesis: Phd


In this thesis 3D diamond detectors were fabricated using an ultrafast femtosecond (120 fs) pulse length laser, with a 800nm wavelength, to induce a phase change of diamond to graphite to form electrodes in the diamond bulk. Graphitic electrodes, with diameters of O(um), were fabricated using a known processing technique and were enhanced further through the use of a Spatial Light Modulator (SLM), which is a new technology in this field. These detectors were subsequently characterised through the use of particle beams, and this work also presents methods for characterising such detectors: A pair of crossed polarisers to determine the stress induced by the electrodes on the diamond bulk; Raman spectroscopy to assess the relative quantity of diamond:graphite formed; Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to image the starting (seed) and finishing (exit) sides of electrode formation; and current-voltage (I-V) measurements to calculate the electrical properties of the electrodes. These characterisation methods (alongside the use of particle beams) serve as a means to compare the two fabrication techniques and to determine the optimum fabrication parameters to produce 3D diamond detectors for use as tracking detectors in high luminosity environments such as those in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). This work shows that using a higher beam energy and translation speed of the focal spot results in electrodes of lower electrical resistivity, which is an ideal characteristic for a tracking detector. These higher processing parameters also result in more graphitic structure on the seed and exit sides of the diamond, determined separately via Raman spectroscopy and SEM. An increased beam energy also results in larger electrode diameters, reducing the active area of the detector and inducing more stress in the diamond bulk. These measurements therefore indicate an upper limit on the fabrication parameters. A further study into these processing parameters shows the translation speed scales with the pulse repetition rate of the laser and allows for fast fabrication of 3D diamond detectors. Two devices were fabricated with and without the use of an SLM, with a more uniform detector response (through characterisation by particle beams), lower electrical resistivity, and more graphitic material observed for SLM-fabricated electrodes. The benefits of square and hexagonal cell structures were also investigated with both structures showing a similar response to particle beams. A lower charge sharing region is observed in hexagonal cells and indicates potentially different applications for these cell geometries. Transient Current Technique (TCT) measurements were also taken on both detectors, where faster charge collection and higher quality data were seen for the SLM-fabricated device. These measurements indicate a preference in the use of an SLM for the future fabrication of 3D diamond tracking detectors. These TCT measurements were then compared to simulations to extract the charge carrier properties in diamond. Only qualitative agreement was obtained, motivating further work in this area to fully understand the charge carrier dynamics and demonstrate the future viability of 3D diamond detectors.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorLin Li (Supervisor), Cinzia Da Via (Supervisor) & Alexander Oh (Supervisor)


  • Detector
  • 3D
  • Diamond
  • Tracking
  • Laser-induced graphitisation

Cite this