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High Temperature Superconductivity in Diamond


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Professor Steven Prawer and his research team have taken a pioneering approach to the problem of high temperature superconductivity in diamond through two distinct avenues high energy ion implantation, and growth via chemical vapor deposition. By appropriately tuning the experimental parameters of our CVD growth, they have produced superconducting diamond in their lab for the first time. Previous studies have generally compared several samples grown under different plasma conditions, or on substrates having different crystallographic orientations in order to vary the incorporation of boron into the lattice. Instead, they have performed a study of a single sample with unchanging boron concentration, and modified the charge carrier concentration by introducing compensating defects via high energy light ion irradiation. Superconductivity is completely suppressed when the number of defects is sufficient to compensate the hole concentration to below threshold. Furthermore, they show that it is possible to recover the superconductivity by annealing the sample in vacuum to remove the compensating defects. This novel approach to the understanding of superconductivity in boron doped diamond has enabled the demonstration of the strong link between hole concentration and superconductivity in this material. To their knowledge, this is the first study which shows the ability to directly alter the superconducting properties through ion irradiation. Professor Prawer's group also advanced their work on implantation of boron to create deeply buried layers of heavily doped diamond having hole concentrations exceeding the metal insulator transition (MIT). The use of MeV implantation allows the heavily doped layers to be isolated from the confounding influences of impurities and surfaces and provides an ideal platform on which to test the underlying theory. Despite the use of advanced t



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