Aiden A. Martin, Jorge Filevich, Marcus Straw, Steven Randolph, Aur´elien Botman, Igor Aharonovich and Milos Toth

Ultra nano-crystalline diamond (UNCD) is increasingly being used in the fabrication of devices and coatings due to its excellent tribological properties, corrosion resistance and bio-compatibility. Here, we study its response to irradiation with kiloelectronvolt electrons as a controlled model for extreme ionizing environments. Real time Raman spectroscopy reveals that the radiation damage mechanism entails dehydrogenation of UNCD grain boundaries, and we show that the damage can be recovered by annealing at 883 K. Our results have significant practical implications for the implementation of UNCD in extreme environment applications, and indicate that the films can be used as radiation sensors.

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