Lab-grown diamonds’ growth accelerates wastewater treatment, quantum computing and much more

De Beers' group co. Element 6 launches new tech for wastewater treatment, while MIT is using diamonds to solve Quantum Computing's challenging obstacle. Lab-grown diamonds are on a steep growth curve and are aiding application advancements.

Lab-grown diamonds
[Image Courtesy: ADA Diamonds]

Whether called Lab-grown, cultured, cultivated, man-made or incorrectly synthetic too, Lab-grown diamonds are making ‘great strides due to its rising economic value’. A market study published by Transparency Market Research predicts high CAGR for Lab-grown diamonds and projects market revenue to grow from USD 15.7 billion in 2015 to USD 28.8 billion by 2023, mostly held by polished Lab-grown diamonds in terms of value. This trend is expected to further rise in future.

While diamonds and technology continue to influence each other, Lab-grown diamonds’ growth and development are further accelerating various uses and applications including wastewater treatment, quantum computing and much more.


Element Six launches new tech for wastewater treatment

Lab-grown diamonds
[Image Courtesy: Element Six, Wateronline]
De Beers’ group company Element Six, a world leader in Lab-grown diamond production, launched next generation of ‘Diamox electrochemical advanced oxidation cell technology’. This new cost effective tech is highly efficient in treating extremely contaminated industrial wastewater, which otherwise is untreatable by normal biological methods.



The new technology uses free-standing polycrystalline boron doped diamonds (BDD) electrodes. When diamonds are heavily doped with boron they act as metal-like conductors but being able to retain their properties, BDD are the most chemically inert and robust electrode available. Diamox can work with most effluents and have 5 times oxidation capacity of earlier versions. Lab-grown diamonds are indeed advancing the wastewater treatment technologies.


MIT solves Quantum Computing’s obstacle, using diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds
[Image Courtesy: MIT]
Ability for ‘Qubits’ (atomic scale building blocks of quantum computers) to inhabit more than one physical state simultaneously, called as ‘superposition’ is what lies at the heart of quantum computing and gives its exciting potential. However, maintaining stability is a difficult task and can be achieved through feedback control, but a vital part of the process destroys superposition, forcing scientists to rely on their instincts and make necessary adjustments.


However, researchers from MIT have developed a new approach to implement the feedback – using diamond’s Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) center. A diamond consists of tetrahedral structure of carbon atoms and if a carbon nucleus is missing from the lattice, a vacancy is formed. A nitrogen atom taking place adjacent to the vacancy creates a NV center, which when subjected to strong magnetic field can up, down or quantum superposition its spin. Further microwave emissions, radio-frequency radiations in a specified spin state can help perform computations using NV and other qubits.

Paola Cappellaro from MIT says that since the NV controller is quantum, one does not need to do measurements to know what’s going on. MIT tests concludes that diamonds enable to keep the NV in much longer position – about 1,000 times longer as it would otherwise have been, indicating that working quantum computers are fast becoming a reality and diamonds are aiding to do that.


Lab-grown diamonds market on a steep growth curve

Global Lab-grown diamonds market is advancing for economic gains. Diamond Foundry, a California based Lab-grown diamond startup, which counts Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio and 10 Silicon Valley billionaires including Twitter founder Evan Williams, SUN Microsystems founder Andreas Bechtolsheim, Facebook cofounder Andrew McCollum, former eBay president Jeff Skoll among its investors, is disrupting the industry.

After a water leak hit its facility in Greenville, South Carolina and leading to a temporary shutdown, US based Scio Diamond, a CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) Lab-grown diamond producer is now back to full production capacity.

Nevertheless, though there are no official figures available, Lab-grown diamonds are witnessing a 100% year-on-year growth in North American markets. This trend is however not only limited to US but is happening worldwide, with not just applications in industrial, scientific and hi-tech uses but in jewelry sector too. More millennials are now choosing Lab-grown diamonds for their jewelry purchases mostly because of its ecologically sensitive and socially conscious advantages.

Even Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has certified Lab-grown diamonds as the most “Authentic thing”. With the phenomenal rise and huge market potential, experts even deduce that Lab-grown diamond business offers investment opportunities. GIA’s debut of a new melee screening device confirms the imminent steep growth curve for Lab-grown diamonds.


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