High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) was used to study nucleation and growth mechanism of diamond by hot filament chemical vapor deposition (HFCVD) process. A novel technique has shown a direct evidence for the formation of the diamond-like carbon layer 8-14 nm thick in which small diamond micro-crystallites were embedded. These diamond micro-crystallites were formed as a result of transformation of diamond-like carbon into diamond. The diamond micro-crystallites present in the amorphous diamond-like carbon layer provided nucleation sites for diamond growth. Large diamond crystallites were observed to grow from these micro-crystallites. The mechanism of diamond growth will be presented based on experimental findings.
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