Instead of using diamonds that have been formed in the earth, we use man-made diamond material that is produced in a laboratory. This is 100% pure diamond and is not to be confused with synthetic diamond gemstone alternatives such as cubic zirconia.
Lab-grown diamond is typically produced using either High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) growth, or Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD).
Two forms of lab-grown diamond are shown above. On the left is a 0.38 carat HPHT pink diamond gemstone. On the right is a 4.5 mm CVD diamond substrate that we typically use in our research.
Beyond its allure as a rare gemstone, diamond possesses several unique and extreme properties which make it highly desirable as an engineering material for the development of a range of new and exciting technologies. Some of these highly attractive properties include:
- The highest thermal conductivity of any bulk solid which allows heat to flow through diamond easier than any other material.
- A large electronic bandgap of 5.5 eV which allows diamond to tolerate high electric fields/ high voltage operation and potentially be used in hazardous and radiation intense environments.
- High intrinsic electron and hole mobility which allows electronic charge to travel through the diamond structure with relative ease which is ideal for high frequency electronics.