Growing films on substrates normally normally requires high temperature (~1000° C) films to be deposited on low temperature substrates (<100° C) without sacrificing the quality of the film. An example is growing diamond films with large micrometer sized grains below 100° C. Reducing the growth temperature requires finding ways of selectively providing energy to the growing film to enhance the desired processes without unnecessary heating. The approach disclosed uses the concept that a hyperthermal atomic beam incident at low angle (i.e., with the beam incident nearly parallel to the substrate) can enhance surface diffusion of an adsorbate. The hyperthermal beam of atomic hydrogen may also (1) abstract hydrogen from methyl groups on the surface of the growing diamond film to create sites where additional methyl radicals can attach and (2) desorb alkane chains that unintentionally form and that eventually become defects in the diamond film.
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