When synthetic diamonds are concerned they are usually compared with mined stones and it seems one can’t exist without the other. Much can be said about the technology applied to produce synthetic diamonds, but this is the result that is of a great interest for most of the customers. Since the laboratory conditions are close to those that happen in wild nature deep under the ground, it would be nice to learn about the properties man made diamonds acquire. So this is the secret of synthetic diamonds:
Properties of Synthetic Diamond Compared to Natural Diamond
The properties of synthetic diamond depend on the details of the manufacturing processes.
The key properties of synthetic diamonds are as follows:
- Mechanical properties – The exceptional hardness of synthetic diamond and very low coefficient of friction make these diamonds advantageous in mechanical applications such as extending tool life, reducing downtime and decreasing operating costs and carbon footprints. An example of a very tough kind of synthetic diamond is polycrystalline diamond (PCD). Synthetic diamonds can also be manufactured to have an ultra-fine edge for very high precision.
- Optical properties – The spectral band of synthetic diamond is the widest of any material, extending from UV to far infrared and the millimetre- wave microwave band.
- Thermal properties – Synthetic diamonds are known to have the highest known resistance to thermal shock and the highest known thermal conductivity which is about four times higher than copper. They are a favoured material for thermal management applications requiring optimum performance. They also have low thermal expansion
- Electronic properties – Synthetic diamonds possess high electrical carrier mobility, very good electrical insulator properties, low dielectric constant and loss, and a wide electronic band gap, which means that they can carry very low current even under high voltages.
- Acoustic properties – Synthetic diamonds have excellent acoustic properties that help CVD diamond tweeters to achieve frequencies of 70 kHz, resulting in an unmatched clear and transparent sound reproduction.
- Electrochemical properties – Synthetic diamonds are chemically and biologically inert, thereby allowing them to be used in extreme chemical, physical, and radioactive environments that would destroy minor materials. Efficient oxidation of organic and inorganic compounds is possible due to their good electrochemical properties. Synthetic diamond anodes can facilitate ozone production on a scale that is appropriate for homes, hotels, and hospitals. This method is considered more efficient and more reliable than any other technology currently available.
Applications of Synthetic Diamond
Synthetic diamonds are widely used in various fields. The key areas of application are as follows:
- PCDs are widely used in oil and gas drills as no other material is capable of handling the extreme conditions. Large economic benefits are gained by rig drilling operators due to the use of these diamonds.
- Ideal ‘window’ material for several industrial, R&D, defence and laser applications
- All types of electronic and electrical applications in which build-up of heat can severely impair performance or destroy delicate circuitry
- As a ‘heat sink’ for sensitive components used in the telecommunications industry and in microelectronic devices.
- In the production of laser optics where synthetic diamond provides optimum exit windows for CO2 lasers, such as those used in automotive cutting applications
- Synthetic diamond-based products are being used in industrial and household water treatment
- In advanced healthcare applications such as therapy for eye cancer patients where synthetic diamond-based radiation detectors ensure the delivery of the correct dosage to precisely target only the cancer-affected tissue and not the healthy tissue around it
- As surgical scalpel in ophthalmic and neuro surgery
- Researchers are trying to develop synthetic diamond-based quantum computer technology that could enable faster data processing and secure communication
- In the solid state particle detectors used at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland
- Polycrystalline CVDs are an essential component in high performance loudspeakers
- As consumer diamond gemstones.
This information is taken from http://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=8494