Diamond-on-insulator (DOI) wafers featuring ultrananocrystalline diamond are studied via atomic force microscopy, profilometer and wafer bow measurements. Plasma-activated direct bonding of DOI wafers to thermal oxide grown silicon wafers is investigated under vacuum. DOI wafer with chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) on the diamond surface makes a poor bonding to silicon wafers with thermal oxide. Our results show that plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of silicon dioxide on top of the DOI wafer, CMP of the oxide layer and annealing are essential to achieve very high quality direct bonding to thermal oxide grown on silicon wafers. Plasma activation results in the formation of high quality bonds without exceeding 550 degrees C in the direct wafer bonding process. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.