New Technic to Produce Artificial Diamonds

Synthetic diamondsMoscow: Experts of the Institute of Solid State Chemistry and Mechanochemistry (ISSCM) of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) have developed a technique to produce artificial diamonds, which permits to make them a thousand times faster, much faster than the methods used today. The news was broken to reporters by Boris Tolochko, Senior Research Fellow, Head of the ISSCM SB RAS Laboratory.

“At our institute, we are preparing the starting substance, which is placed in a special chamber, where it is processed at temperature of about 5,000°C and pressure of about one million atmospheres. As a result, we have diamonds,” Boris Tolochko said.

Artificial diamonds are nowadays produced, and the institutes of the SB RAS are also making them. However, according to Boris Tolochko, the technique developed by ISSCM can significantly speed up the process by reducing the time of “growing” diamonds from one month to a fraction of a second. In addition, due to a cheaper starting substance, this method can reduce the cost of artificial diamonds from millions to several tens of thousands of rubles.

According to him, this technique is based on the carbonaceous material called adamantane. Its crystal lattice is very similar to the diamond crystal lattice, except that some of the atoms it contains are hydrogen atoms. When subjected to processing, adamantane turns into diamonds releasing free hydrogen. Currently, the scientists are developing a technique to divert this hydrogen, so that it does not interfere with the process of diamond formation.

At the same time, the work is underway to increase the size of diamonds produced, Boris Tolochko said. Currently, the developers managed to obtain diamonds a few microns in size, which is sufficient for the needs of the microelectronics industry and experimental operations. However, the scientists want to produce larger stones, which can be used in jewelry.