Enhancing diamonds for advanced applications

Diamond applications
[Image Courtesy - IIa Technologies]

Diamonds are one of the strongest stones. Apart from being part of rings and other jewelry worn by young and old alike, diamonds are known to be used in applications for industrial and scientific purposes. From tiny diamond magnetometers, acoustic electronic devices, optics, semiconductors, power management, solar energy, to biomedical etc. diamonds are used in various different fields.

While, it has already been used for various applications, diamonds are being enhanced as well as new agreements and partnerships between technology companies and diamond manufacturers are made to come up and support various advanced applications.

Enhancing quantum sensing in diamonds

To measure magnetic fields, magnetic imagining (MRI), and quantum computing and information, diamonds need Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) centers. While, diamond is made of carbon atoms, a carbon atom needs to be replaced with some other atom, which would result in a lattice defect. In this case, the carbon atom is replaced with a nitrogen atom, keeping the neighboring space empty.

A group of scientists of Nir Bar-Gill group from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Racah Institute of Physics and Department of Applied Physics along with Prof. Eyal Buks of the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have come up with a simpler process to attain the above defect. They use electron beams to kick carbon atoms out of the lattice.

A specially converted electron beam microscope (Transmission Electron Microscope or TEM) is used for the process. This process enhances the density of the NV centres which are required for optimal magnetic detection, without increasing environmental noise and damaging diamond properties.

Bar-Gill, Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Applied Physics and Rach Institute of Physics at Hebrew University said, “This work is an important stepping stone toward utilizing NV centers in diamond as resources for quantum technologies, such as enhanced sensing, quantum simulation and potentially quantum information processing.”

Re-defining dental and orthopaedic surgery

CVDVale a part of Clorovale Diamantes Industria e Comercio, a Brazilian company producing Lab-grown or CVD diamonds has several patents and scientific articles published under its name for their application of diamonds in various dental as well as orthopaedic equipment. Founded in 1997, one of the initial productions by the company was the CVDentus Technology, which included ultrasonic drills used for removal of caries and drill alveolar bone for the preparation of implants.

The company is scheduled to launch another ultrasonic device for orthopaedic surgery, covering a larger surface to cut, in January 2018. This has already led to the launch of a new device for dental surgery.

Apart from dental and orthopaedic equipment, CVDVale has developed self-sharpening diamond bits for drilling water, gas and oil wells, amongst others.

EnviroLeach and Element Six signs agreement

EnviroLeach extracts precious metals from e-waste using hydrometallurgical extraction. To enhance the process, EnviroLeach has entered into a strategic partnership with Element Six. The partnership involves incorporating Element Six’s Lab-grown diamond based Diamox technology in the process.

Duane Nelson, CEO of EnviroLeach said, “We have been doing extensive research and development on this unique application.  As partners for our electro-chemical cell technology requirements, Element Six brings the experience, knowledge base and an industrial relevant network. Securing strategic long-term relationships with top industry leaders such as Element Six are part of our evolutionary strategy to become a dominant player in E-Waste and mining sectors.”

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