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Antibacterial properties of polycrystalline diamond films

journal contribution
posted on 16.09.2021, 09:11 by Aude Cumont, Ruoying Zhang, Yuting Zheng, Louise Corscadden, Marco R Oggioni, Chengming Li, Ran Liu, Haitao Ye
Electronic and mechanical properties, and their biocompatibility, make diamond-based materials promising biomedical applications. The cost required to produce high quality single crystalline diamond films is still a hurdle to prevent them from commercial applications, but the emergence of polycrystalline diamond (PCD) films grown by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) method has provided an affordable strategy. PCD films grown on silicon wafer have been used throughout and were fully characterised by SEM, XPS, Raman spectroscopy and FTIR. The samples contain nearly pure carbon, with impurities originated from the CVD growth and the silicon etching process. Raman spectroscopy revealed it contained tetrahedral amorphous carbon with small tensile stress. The sp2 carbon content, comprised between 16.1 and 18.8%, is attributed to the diamond grain boundaries and iron-catalysed graphitisation. Antibacterial properties of PCD films were performed with two model bacteria, i.e. Escherichia coli (Gram-negative) and Staphylococcus aureus (Gram-positive) using direct contact and shaking flask methods. The samples showed strong bacteriostatic properties against S. aureus and E. coli with the direct contact method and no influence on planktonic bacterial growth. These results suggest that the bacteriostatic mechanism of PCD films is linked to their surface functional groups (carbon radicals and –NH2 and –COOH groups) and that no diffusible molecules or components were involved.


The work was supported in part, by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Project (No. 734578). Aude Cumont and Ruoying Zhang are grateful for the PhD studentship from the University of Leicester. Haitao Ye is grateful for the support from the STFC IAA Proof of Concept project.


Author affiliation

School of Engineering


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Published in

Ceramics International


Elsevier BV



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