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Mechanism of SiC crystals growth on {100} and {111} diamond surfaces upon microwave heating

The subject of this work is focused on characterization of the microstructures and orientations of SiC crystals synthesized in diamond–SiC–Si composites using reactive microwave sintering. The SiC crystals grown on the surfaces of diamonds have either shapes of cubes or hexagonal prisms, dependent on crystallographic orientation of diamond. The selection of a specified plane in diamond lattice for the TEM investigations enabled a direct comparison of SiC orientations against two types of diamond facets. On the {111} diamond faces a 200 nm layer of 30–80 nm flat β-SiC grains was found having a semi-coherent interface with diamond at an orientation: (111)[112]SiCâ•‘(111)[110]C. On the {100} diamond faces β-SiC forms a 300 nm intermediate layer of 20–80 nm grains and an outer 1.2 µm layer on top of it. Surprisingly, the SiC lattice of the outer layer is aligned with the diamond lattice: (111)[110]SiCâ•‘(111)[110]C.
 
Fig. 1. SEM micrograph of the as-sintered diamond–SiC–Si composite; inclusions show the top-view of the SiC crystals on the {100} and {111} diamond facets.
 
Source: Microelectronic Engineering
 
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