The Chemical Compound of Synthetic Diamond

06/mar/2020 08:23:04 pressnews Contatta l'autore

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The lab made version of diamonds resemble mined diamonds in nearly all fundamental properties. They are very hard, broadly transparent, have high thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity, all of which makes diamond a precious stone.

Synthetic diamonds, also called grown or lab made diamonds are made from graphite. A small piece of graphite is put in a chamber that mimics the geological condition of the earth’s core. Under intense pressure and temperature, the seed transforms into a crystal of diamond. The process takes about an average of 3 months.

The lab made version of diamonds resemble mined diamonds in nearly all fundamental properties. They are very hard, broadly transparent, have high thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity, all of which makes diamond a precious stone.

Mining is detrimental to the environment, very costly and time-intensive. Synthesis which is an alternate to mining meets all these challenges excepting one. It is itself a pretty costly process, but thankfully, comparative less pricey.

On account of the expenses involved heavy diamonds are not commonly formed in laboratories. So, most synthetic diamonds that are used in different industries today are between the size of a grit to a small crystal, and why not? Because these stones are made for the purpose of offering hard coatings on equipment.

Moreover, diamonds are also used to make diamond films on certain objects. For this purpose, carbon-carrying gas is subjected to high heat. The layers formed from the process are used to film optical equipment, cutting tools, semiconductors, etc.

According to records diamonds were made for the first time in a lab in the 1950s. But there are records that a Scottish chemist by the name of James Ballantyne Hannay in the year 1880 made a claim that he had created diamonds for the first time. The ingredients he used for the experiment was paraffin, lithium and bone oil. According to him, the mixture of ingredients were put inside wrought-iron tubes, sealed off and heated up.

A similar claim followed some years later in 1893. This time, it was a French chemist by the name of Henri Moissan. Moissan claimed that he had successfully formed diamonds in his laboratory using different ingredients and a new process. For his experiment, Moissan used pure carbon and iron. He used a crucible for a container and put it inside an electric furnace. When it reached about 7000F, he subjected the liquid to intense pressure by dunking it in a cold water bath. Although Moissan claimed that his experiment was a success, when repeated, neither his, nor Hannay’s process yielded successfully.

The recorded incident of success in diamond making was as late as the 20th century. In the hands of Percy William Bridgman, an American physicist, diamonds were synthesized for the first time in 1955. His experiments and studied were backed the General Electrical Company of New York. For his experiment, Bridgman used a graphite subjecting it to pressure and temperature similar to the earth’s core. The graphite at 1700C and under 7 gigapascals pressure in presence of a certain metal catalyst transformed into diamond. Following this experiment, huge amounts of diamonds were produced in the lab in processes similar and different, 1960 onwards.

In the year 1961, scientists made a breakthrough. They invented certain types of shock-wave methods in which diamond powders were produced in labs. Even today explosive-shock techniques are used to produce diamond dust in small amounts. As the news of success of 1950s spread worldwide, Russian scientists took to investigating new methods of diamond synthesis. They discovered a process involving decomposition of methane and similar carbon carrying gases at low pressure and high temperature. In the 1980s, more viable versions of this process were developed in Japan. They are now referred to as the “chemical vapour deposition” method.

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