Short pulse PLD is a viable technique of producing high quality films with properties very close to that of crystalline diamond. The plasma generated using femtosecond lasers is composed of single atom ions with no clusters producing films with high Sp.sup.3 /Sp.sup.2 ratios. Using a high average power femtosecond laser system, the present invention dramatically increases deposition rates to up to 25 .mu.m/hr (which exceeds many CVD processes) while growing particulate-free films. In the present invention, deposition rates is a function of laser wavelength, laser fluence, laser spot size, and target/substrate separation. The relevant laser parameters are shown to ensure particulate-free growth, and characterizations of the films grown are made using several diagnostic techniques including electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and Raman spectroscopy.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.