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Mapping the Local Spatial Charge in Defective Diamond by Means of N-V Sensors—A Self-Diagnostic Concept

Forneris, J.; Ditalia Tchernij, S.; Traina, P.; Moreva, E.; Skukan, N.; Jakšić, M.; Grilj, V.; Bosia, F.; Enrico, E.; Amato, G.; Degiovanni, I.P.; Naydenov, B.; Jelezko, F.; Genovese, M.; Olivero, P.

Mapping the Local Spatial Charge in Defective Diamond by Means of N-V Sensors—A Self-Diagnostic Concept

Electrically active defects have a significant impact on the performance of electronic devices based on wide-band-gap materials. This issue is ubiquitous in diamond science and technology, since the presence of charge traps in the active regions of different classes of diamond-based devices (detectors, power diodes, transistors) can significantly affect their performance, due to the formation of space charge, memory effects, and the degradation of the electronic response associated with radiation-induced damage. Among the most common defects in diamond, the nitrogen-vacancy (N-V) center possesses unique spin properties that enable high-sensitivity field sensing at the nanoscale. Here, we demonstrate that N-V ensembles can be successfully exploited to perform direct local mapping of the internal electric-field distribution of a graphite-diamond-graphite junction exhibiting electrical properties dominated by trap- and space-charge-related conduction mechanisms. By means of optically detected magnetic resonance measurements, we performed both point-by-point readout and spatial mapping of the electric field in the active region at different bias voltages. In this novel “self-diagnostic” approach, defect complexes represent not only the source of detrimental space-charge effects but also a unique tool for their direct investigation, by providing an insight on the conduction mechanisms that could not be inferred in previous studies on the basis of conventional electrical and optical characterization techniques.

This work was supported by the Joint Research Project SIQUST (17FUN06). This project received funding from the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR) cofinanced by the Participating States and from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
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