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This letter describes the fundamental process underlying the synthesis of ultrananocrystalline diamond ͑UNCD͒ films, using a new low-pressure, heat-assisted bias-enhanced nucleation ͑BEN͒/ bias enhanced growth ͑BEG͒ technique, involving H 2 / CH 4 gas chemistry. This growth process yields UNCD films similar to those produced by the Ar-rich/CH 4 chemistries, with pure diamond nanograins ͑3-5 nm͒, but smoother surfaces ͑ϳ6 nm rms͒ and higher growth rate ͑ϳ1 m / h͒. Synchrotron-based x-Raydoi:10.1063/1.2838303 fatcat:xbauawib4fhftpclwlulll7a3a