Diamond Based Devices

The aim of this research line is to study prototypes of advanced devices based on MWPECVD diamond films and on layers of sprayed nanodiamond particles. For each application the different and superior properties of the diamond are exploited.

UV Detector Based on MWPECVD Polycrystalline Diamond Films

Diamond properties for radiation detectors:

  1. high radiation resistance;
  2. good chemical inertness;
  3. wide radiation transparency;
  4. low dark current;
  5. wide bandgap EG=5.5 eV;
  6. high resistivity;
  7. high breakdown voltage;
  8. high carrier mobility.


For details see ref. [6]


Diamond is an extremely interesting material for photoemission applications, due to its low electron affinity (EA). The EA of a surface is the barrier that hinders the electrons in the conduction band from escaping into vacuum. If diamond surface is hydrogenated, the EA becomes negative by shifting the vacuum level beneath the minimum of conduction band.


Photocathodes based on MWPECVD polycrystalline diamond films


Ref. [7,9,10]

Photocathodes based on sprayed nanodiamond (ND) particle layers

Ref. [1a,1,2,3,4]

Neutralizer Cathode

Neutralizer cathodes for ion sources in aerospace propulsions are proposed and tested for the good photo- and thermionic electron emission properties of NCD films grown on p-Si substrate.

The emissive properties of NCD are mainly influenced by the deposition temperature that affects the hydrogen incorporation, the grain shape and size.

The fraction volume of the grain boundaries varies the incorporated hydrogen and causes a modulation of the surface electron affinity. The NCD films with a buffer layer (BL) grown at the highest deposition temperature have shown the highest photo- and thermionic emission currents.

For details see ref.[5].


Diamond based thermoluminescence dosimeter

Synthetic diamond has been proposed since it is produced at a cost cheaper than natural diamond, with tunable and reproducible properties and high purity. Very thin PCD films exhibit good linearity with dose

For details see ref. [8].

Facilities & Labs

Microwave Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (MWPECVD) @ Bari




CNR Senior Researcher

Olga De PascaleOlga

De Pascale

CNR Director Technologist



CNR Researcher



Associate PostDoc



CNR Researcher

PaoloFrancesco_AmbricoPaolo Francesco


CNR Researcher



Associate Resercher


  1. G. Cicala, A. Massaro, L. Velardi and G. S. Senesi, Morphological and Electrical characterization of Pillar-like structures in Nanodiamond Layers, IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology,xxx, xxxx, (2016) ISSN:1536-125X; doi: 10.1109/TNANO.2016.2574949.
  2. L. Velardi, A. Valentini, G. Cicala, Highly efficient and stable ultraviolet photocathode based on nanodiamond particles, Appl. Phys. Lett. 108, 083503_1-5, (2016) ISSN:0003-9651; doi: 10.1063/1.4942648.
  3. G. Cicala, A. Massaro, L. Velardi, G.S. Senesi, G. Perna, D. Marzulli, D. Melisi, G. De Pascali, A. Valentini, V. Capozzi, Enhancement of surface electrical current on silicon via nanodiamond particles deposited by pulsed spray technique, Phys. Status Solidi A 212, 2862-2868 (2015) ISSN: 1862-6319; DOI 10.1002/pssa.201532080.
  4. G. Cicala, A. Massaro, L. Velardi, G. S. Senesi, A. Valentini Self-assembled pillar-like structures in nanodiamond layers by pulsed spray technique, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6 21101-21109 (2014) ISSN: 1944-8244; Doi:10.1021/am505974d.
  5. G. Cicala, V. Magaletti, A. Valentini, M.A. Nitti, A. Bellucci, D.M. Trucchi, Photo- and thermionic emission of MWPECVD nanocrystalline diamond films, Applied Surface Science 320 798–803 (2014) ISSN: 0169-4332; doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2014.09.075.
  6. M. F. Muscarella, D. Altamura, R. Brescia, M. Capitelli, G. Casamassima, T. Cassano, R. Celiberto, G. Cicala, D. Cornacchia, A. De Giacomo O. De Pascale, C. Favuzzi, G. Ferraro, P. Fusco, F. Gargano, N. Giglietto, F. Giordano, C. Gorse, S. Longo, F. Loparco, V. Magaletti, B. Marangelli, M.N. Mazziotta, D. Monèger, M.A. Nitti, A. Rainò, A. Romeo, G. Senesi, P. Spinelli, A. Valentini, L. Velardi, A comparative study on comb electrodes devices made of MWPECVD diamond films grown on p-doped and intrinsic silicon substrate, Diamond and Related Materials, 20, 1005-1009, (2011) ISSN: 0925-9635; doi: 10.1016/j.diamond.2011.05.018.
  7. G. Cicala, M. A. Nitti, A. Tinti, A. Valentini, A. Romeo, R. Brescia, P. Spinelli, M. Capitelli, Effect of Properties of MWPECVD Polycrystalline Diamond Films on Photoemissive Response, Diamond and Related Materials, 20, 1199-1203, (2011) ISSN: 0925-9635; doi: 10.1016/j.diamond.2011.06.014.
  8. G. Cicala, R. Brescia, M. Nitti, A. Romeo, M. Ambrico, L. Schiavulli, G. Perna, V.Capozzi, Thermoluminescent Response of Thin (< 2 μm) Polycrystalline Diamond Films Grown by Pulsed and Continuous Microwave Plasmas, Diamond and Related Materials 19, 470-473, (2010) ISSN: 0925-9635; doi: 10.1016/j.diamond.2009.12.006.
  9. M. A. Nitti, M. Colasuonno, E. Nappi, A. Valentini, F. Bénédic, G. Cicala, E. Milani, G. Prestopino, Performance analysis of poly- and nano-crystalline diamond based photocathodes, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 595, 131-135, (2008) ISSN: 0168-9002; doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2008.07.062.
  10. M. A. Nitti, E. Nappi, A. Valentini, F. Bénédic, P. Bruno, G. Cicala, Progress in the production of CsI and diamond thin film photocathodes, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A 553, 157-164, (2005) ISSN: 0168-9002; doi: 10.1016/j.nima.2005.08.084.


1a. A. Valentini, D. Melisi, G. De Pascali, G. Cicala, L. Velardi, A. Massaro, High-efficiency nanodiamond-based ultraviolet photocathodes, 2016 (Patent n. WO 2017/051318). 


Method for the production of high efficiency photocathodes for ultraviolet based on nanodiamonds, comprising providing a support (10; 20, 21) capable of conducting electrons, and producing a photosensitive layer of nanodiamonds (30) on the support (10; 20, 21).

Production of the photosensitive layer includes providing nanodiamond particles in the form of powder, hydrogenating the nanoparticles in a H2 plasma, preparing a dispersion of the hydrogenated particles in a solvent, and spraying the dispersion onto the support and waiting for the solvent to evaporate from the support, the spray and waiting cycle being repeated several times in order to obtain a continuous photosensitive layer.


Development of a diamond film detector for ultraviolet radiation, Progetto Strategico ATS PS_136 of Regione Puglia, Italy (2007-2010), Progetto Strategico ATS PS_136 della Regione Puglia, Italy (2007-2010)

HALL: Sistema di propulsione al plasma per la crescita dell’industria aerospaziale pugliese, Progetto Partenariati Regionali per l’Innovazione, ATS: HALL HXGY200, della Regione Puglia, Italy (2012-2014)

APULIA SPACE: Esperti nell’uso di tecnologia abilitanti nel settore dello spazio, Progetto PON03PE_00067_6, Italy (2014-2016).

Latest News

Disordered serendipity: a glassy path to discovery

A workshop in honour of Giorgio Parisi’s 70th birthday

September 19-21, 2018 - Roma

Sapienza University

With the occasion of celebrating Giorgio Parisi 70th birthday, the conference "Disordered serendipity: a glassy path to discovery" brings to Rome many among the world-leading experts in the field of complex systems. In order to properly represent the many fields of research where Giorgio Parisi gave a relevant contribution in his studies of disordered systems, the conference covers a broad spectrum of topics: from  fundamental and rigorous analysis of the statistical mechanics of disorder systems to applications in biology and computer science. These subjects are deeply interconnected since they are characterized by the presence of glassy behavior.



Il prof. Giorgio Parisi eletto presidente dell'Accademia dei Lincei


La più antica accademia del mondo ha un nuovo Presidente

Roma, 22 Giugno 2018

Siamo lieti di annunciare che il prof Giorgio Parisi, fisico della Università La Sapienza di Roma e Associato Cnr Nanotec, è il nuovo Presidente dell'Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. A lui le nostre più vive congratulazioni e gli auguri di buon lavoro.


Costituzione del nuovo Ispc-Cnr

IV incontro - nuovo Istituto di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale - CNR

Lecce, 20 aprile 2018

Aula Rita Levi Montalcini - ore 11:00

CNR NANOTEC c/o Campus Ecotekne

Per comunicazioni inerenti il processo di riorganizzazione potete scrivere a: infonuovoispc@cnr.it

Tutte le informazioni che riguardano gli incontri, compresi gli indirizzi dello streaming, li trovate sul sito http://www.ispc.cnr.it

Informazioni logistiche: goo.gl/ZieUad