More than a gem, 70% of mined Diamonds are used in industrial applications.
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1. Properties of Diamond
Diamond is the hardest material on Earth with the highest thermal conductivity of any material at room temperature. In other words, it has an extraordinary ability to allow heat to pass through. This property is of interest in electronic applications, quantum technology, and optical applications.
2. Lab-Grown Diamonds
Diamonds can be grown in the lab via Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) in the space of 2 months - much quicker compared to mined diamonds that were formed over 1 billion years ago near the Earth's surface. The CVD process starts with a diamond seed, a single crystal diamond in a slice about as thick as a human hair. The seed is placed in a vacuum chamber with carbon-rich gases and is heated to 1500°F. At such high temperatures, the gas turns into a plasma and carbon is released, which layers onto the diamond seed forming the diamond.
3. Diamonds for Power
Diamonds are ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors that could power the electrical grid and EVs more efficiently. Wider bandgap semiconductors are materials with the ability to handle higher voltages, higher operating temperatures, and faster switching.
4. A Jewel to Purify Water 100% Chemical Free
"Water and Sanitation" is Sustainable Development Goal 6. Water treatment typically uses considerable quantities of chemicals to treat wastewater and for filtering drinking water. Using electrolysis, the self-cleaning diamond electrode splits water molecules to eliminate pollutants without generating any waste.
5. Energy Storage
Researchers at QUT (Queensland University of Technology) proposed the design of diamond nanothreads to use as a mechanical energy storage system for wearable and biomedical technologies. Compared to chemical energy storage, lithium-ion batteries, a mechanical energy system would be safer for implanted biomedical sensing systems for the heart and brain.