Microwave N2 plasma nitridation of H-diamond (1 1 1) surface studied by ex situ XPS, HREELS, UPS, TPD, LEED and DFT

Mohan Kumar Kuntumalla*, Yusen Zheng, Mohammed Attrash, Gilad Gani, Shaul Michaelson, Kai Huang*, Alon Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


We report on an experimental investigation and density functional theory (DFT) modeling of the physico-chemical properties of nitrided diamond (1 1 1) surface prepared by exposing a hydrogenated diamond (1 1 1) surface to high purity nitrogen microwave plasma (MW(N2)). Ex-situ X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic analysis showed that the maximum nitrogen coverage is ∼ 1/4 monolayer alongside coadsorbed hydrogen, as corroborated by high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS). The observed broad peak at ∼ 630 °C in the N2 temperature programmed desorption spectrum suggests that nitrogen desorption substantially occurs below 700 °C. As nitride surface exhibits an increase in electron affinity/work function compared to the hydrogenated surface. Low energy electron diffraction of the nitride surface exhibits a 1 × 1 pattern, which confirms that the MW(N2) exposure results in low-level damage to the diamond (1 1 1) surface; these results complement well with the presence of 1st order optical phonon peak (∼300 meV), the characteristic signature of a highly ordered diamond surface, on the HREEL spectrum. DFT simulations reveal that it is facile for nitrogen to insert into the Csingle bondH bond on H-diamond (1 1 1), forming NH(ad) species adsorbed over C(1 1 1), which dimerizes into NH-NH(ad) at increasing coverages. The computed modes of vibration are in qualitative agreement with the HREELS data.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Surface Science
StateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jul 2022


  • Diamond (1 1 1) surface
  • Nitrogen termination
  • Microwave plasma
  • Photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Low energy electron diffraction
  • High resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy
  • Density functional theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Microwave N2 plasma nitridation of H-diamond (1 1 1) surface studied by ex situ XPS, HREELS, UPS, TPD, LEED and DFT'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this