Diamonds Needed For Research

Melbourne Center for Nanofabrication (MCN) has opened its new Diamond Deposition Suite (DDS), allowing researchers to produce ultra high-purity diamonds.

Diamonds are well known for their remarkable properties which includes the highest heat conductivity and the greatest chemical and radiation resistance of any material. Diamond film has not been widely available to the research community due to high costs and manufacturing difficulties.

The DDS process uses a continuous microwave source to heat hydrogen and carbon in the form of methane, until the atoms break down to become highly reactive plasma. Through adding other gases to the plasma, diamond coatings can be made to either highly insulating or highly conductive.

Custom made diamond coatings offer a range of new opportunities for research and industry.
“Australian researchers are already leading the way in using diamond coatings to enhance the bionic eye, said Dr. Dwayne Kirk, managing director of the MCN.

“In addition to medical bionics, the twin diamond production systems at MCN will extend the research and development possibilities for our industry partners in bio sensor research, electronics, quantum information processing and manufacturing applications.”

The Diamond Deposition Suite is funded by the Australian Government under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure program and will join a portfolio of more than 500 instruments available through the Australian National Fabrication Facility.