The progression of corrosion in polycrystalline boron-doped diamond (BDD) thin film electrode is explored as the electrode undergoes high-current density anodic treatments with organic compounds. Micro-Raman spectroscopy and spectral mapping indicate that anodic corrosion is initiated by the conversion of sp3 diamond to amorphous sp2 carbon at the surface, which are then removed after longer anodic treatment. Polarized Raman analysis reveals that corrosion-induced changes on the surface are specific to (100)-grain facets and (111)-grain edges. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopic measurements suggest that carbonyl groups consequently form on these specific sites and act as an intermediate toward the etching of the surface. This process exposes and subsequently removes the subsurface boron atoms, thus reducing the doping density. The observed crystal grain orientation dependence of the corrosion process provides new insights toward a better understanding of degradation in BDD electrodes.
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