Industrial applications of diamonds are not new. But advances in diamond growing technologies in the past decade have further enabled to use diamonds in meeting variety of industrial, research and household needs.
Increasingly Power equipments like amplifiers, controls, invertors, electronic instruments etc. use semiconductors, which have a significant challenge of thermal management. Diamonds come to rescue to tackle this concern.
A thin Diamond substrate is used as heat spreader in electronic components to minimize the failures due to excess heat exposure. Diamonds have high thermal conductivity (very good conductors of heat and dissipate heat quickly) but low electrical conductivity (can be used as insulators and do not interfere with electric current flowing through electronic circuits). The diamond heat spreaders act as heat sink and prevent semiconductor materials from overheating. As the size of electronics reduces over time, Diamonds will be a requirement for thermal management, especially in the Power industry.
2. Waste management
When a small electric current is passed through a diamond, Ozone gas is created which can be used in waste treatment plants as an alternative to bleach. A boron doped diamond can be used to break down caustic liquids into less harmful chemicals.
3. Magnetic Field sensing
Very pure single crystal diamonds with nitrogen vacancy can be used to create small footprint magnetometers to sense magnitude and direction of magnetic fields.
Being chemically and biologically inert and possessing electrochemical properties that enable oxidation of compounds – Organic or Inorganic very efficiently, Diamonds can withstand tough environments and can be used to create products for household and industrial water treatments.
Diamond’s unique molecular structure provides it with greater hardness than other materials making them an ideal material for cutters (drill bits) used in oil and gas drilling since they have minimum wear and tear. Use of diamond supermaterials also reduces operating costs and carbon footprint.
6. Biomedical & Pharmaceutical
With their highest levels of sensitivity, responsiveness and selectivity, Diamonds are best placed for conducting electroanalysis and hold a huge potential for use in devices such as biomedical sensors. Besides, other applications for diamonds like medical treatment for cancer is also being explored.
7. Laser applications
Having the widest range of spectrum band – UV to far IF, along with other properties, Diamonds are the future in Laser based applications including optics systems.
Diamonds are also being used for research in design of quantum computing, secure quantum communication etc.
These are just some examples where Diamonds are being used to solve host of challenges and requirements. As research and technological evolution continues, like Nanodiamonds, diamonds will gain prominence in more applications and industries.
Apart from Element Six (a De Beers Group company) who is at forefront of this development, there are other companies like IIa Technologies, which developed larger single-crystal diamond plates whose applications will not only extend to traditional fields like radiation dosimeters, X-ray detectors but also to even Particle accelerators, benefiting the users with higher uptime and enhanced detection accuracy.