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Transparency in the range from UV to microwave, high thermal conductivity, radiation resistance and large aperture make CVD diamond a unique optical material. One of its applications are windows for outputting high-power IR radiation of fiber and CO2 lasers, THz radiation from gyrotrons and synchrotron radiation. Such diamond windows effectively solve the problem of heat dissipation, while they are transparent at required frequencies.
Refractive x-ray lenses also can be made from diamond. Another area of application is diffraction optics for high-power radiation sources in the visible, IR and THz ranges, created by photolithography or laser processing. Such optical elements have mechanical strength of diamond. Laser processing methods allow the creation of three-dimensional diamond microstructures. It is possible to locally remove crystal layers, form conductive structures in the volume of diamond or remove material from its volume, creating channels and cavities of complex shape. Another way to make surface diamond structures is the replica method.
One of the important tasks in laser technologies is the expansion of spectral range. Tuning the wavelength of radiation is of particular interest and it becomes possible by diamond lasers based on stimulated Raman scattering. The advantage of diamond over other materials is the greatest frequency shift, high conversion efficiency and high thermal conductivity.
A promising area for using NV and SiV color centers in diamond is scintillators - visualizers of high-power synchrotron radiation. Another application of this color centers is to obtain sources of single photons in diamond. Matrices and arrays of such emitters can become the basis for the creation of devices of quantum metrology and quantum informatics.
To realize all the possibilities of new semiconductor materials it is necessary to solve the problem of heat generated by high-power electronic devices. Due to its exceptional thermal conductivity, diamond is the best candidate for manufacturing of heat-dissipating substrates and coatings in devices based on GaN and other wide-gap semiconductors. Production and application of GaN-Diamond heterostructures will make it possible to create miniature and energy-efficient high-power microwave electronics, amplifiers, LEDs and other devices of a new generation, e.g., required for the infrastructure of 5G networks.
Diamond can be used not only for manufacturing of passive elements, such as heat sinks and sound ducts, but also as a material of active electronic devices. On its basis it is possible to create field-effect transistors with a frequency above 100 GHz, MEMS and acousto-electronic devices, for example, filters based on the surface acoustic waves of the GHz band.
Diamond-based detectors are significantly more sensitive to UV and X-rays than to visible light. This allows to create "sun-blind" highly sensitive devices without any additional optical filters that retain their properties when heated up to 300 °C. The radiation resistance of diamond allows it to be used for on-board UV detectors even in space research. Diamond can also serve as a material for the detection of high-energy particles: alpha particles, gamma rays, and neutrons. The key advantages of diamond detectors are high radiation resistance and breakdown voltage, as well as low “dark” currents.
Chemical stability, biocompatibility and possibility of surface functionalisation make nanodiamond particles one of the most promising and safe drug carriers. In the treatment of serious diseases, especially cancer, it is important that the drug effectively affects damaged cells and tissues of the body and does not affect healthy ones. The surface of nanodiamond can be changed to attach a drug to it and ensure its targeted delivery. Then the particles are excreted from the body without harming it.
Another application of nanodiamonds is fluorescent biomarkers. Optical labeling of drugs is one of the most common methods for studying the effectiveness of their delivery to cells and excretion from cells. Now widely used indicators are based on dyes, which are photo- and chemically unstable, toxic to living systems, have a short lifetime, weak and uneven radiation. This problem can be solved by biocompatible markers based on nanodiamond particles doped with silicon or nitrogen atoms to create luminescent centers. The high stability of their fluorescence makes it possible to monitor delivery of drugs and their excretion from the body. Diagnosis using nanodiamond biomarkers takes place with minimal consequences for the patient’s health and well-being.
Thus, the development and production of functional nanodiamond particles will open up new opportunities for biomedical research, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, visualization of cellular and molecular targets, targeted delivery of substances to cells, photothermal therapy and optical tomography.
The penetrating ability of THz radiation makes it possible to construct images of objects inaccessible to observation in other ranges. One of the promising materials for its detection are superconducting boron-doped diamond films and matrix bolometers based on such films. Their extreme sensitivity allows to capture even single photons with a wavelength of more than a micrometer. Such devices are exclusively in demand in security systems of crowded places for detecting explosives and drugs, as well as identifying objects hidden under clothing. Such systems realize hidden nature of observation and do not require "illuminating" radiation. Identifying a potential threat in passive mode greatly increases probability of its successful neutralization. Other applications for diamond-based bolometric matrices include medical systems for non-invasive diagnostics of tissues and organs, wide-channel and secure data transmission systems, as well as THz radiation detectors in analytical scientific equipment.
Another area of diamond application in the field of security is protective labels made of luminescent nano-diamond particles. Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex, and the identification of counterfeit products has become a serious problem. Today, various dyes, fluorescent markers, or complex optical imaging systems based on radiofrequency tags are used as protective markings. However, many dyes and luminescent markers disappear with time and are vulnerable to UV radiation and high temperature. At the same time, the centers of luminescence in diamond are reliably protected by the surrounding material, and they are not affected by heating, high pressure, chemical environment and the procedures carried out during labeling and packaging of various products.
Modern industrial production involves use of organic substances that posess a serious environmental hazard. The electrochemical destruction method with use of doped diamond electrodes is the most effective for wastewater treatment at enterprises. This technology is characterized by high versatility, speed and completeness of organic contaminants removal. There is also no need to use additional reagents, which eliminates the cost of their purchase, preparation and storage and significantly reduces environmental risks.
The use of diamond provides high speed and completeness of water purification, unattainable by other methods, including electrochemical oxidation using other electrode materials. Another important advantage is the corrosion and chemical resistance of diamond, which ensures long service life of electrodes in aggressive environments. Enough conductivity of a diamond coating is achieved by doping it with boron atoms.
Treatment plants based on this technology would solve the problems associated with the disposal of toxic waste from industrial enterprises and the load on municipal treatment facilities, reduce economic costs and damage to the environment. The use of diamond electrodes allow to eliminate such contaminants, discharge of which, even in very small quantities, is prohibited by law. Electrochemical oxidation can also be used in combination with traditional wastewater treatment methods for purification of low concentrations of toxicants and removal of residual compounds.
In addition to wastewater treatment plants of enterprises, this method can be used for destruction of microorganisms without the help of additional reagents. Moreover, its energy efficiency is superior to other disinfection methods. One of the possible applications of electrochemical equipment based on boron-doped diamond electrodes is the production of highly pure and ionized drinking water.
Diamond coatings and inserts are widely used for modern heavy-duty materials machining. They perform several functions at once: increase wear resistance and reduce heating of the working surface, improve processing accuracy and corrosion resistance. In its mechanical properties, CVD diamond is superior to natural diamond, possessing greater hardness and wear resistance, and is much more effective for mechanical applications. CVD technology makes it possible to apply diamond coatings on surfaces of various shapes and control their properties, such as thickness and roughness. CVD diamond is absolutely necessary for high-precision machining of parts and for grinding when exceptional smoothness is required. Its application allows for environmentally friendly “dry” processing without the use of coolants.
CVD diamond can also be used in geological technologies for drilling or grinding of solid earth rocks. The use of CVD diamond-enhanced drills increases the efficiency of mining and exploitation of new fields and significantly reduces the costs associated with wear and maintenance of drilling rigs.
Also, CVD diamond coatings can be applied to the surface of parts of various mechanisms subject to strong friction or the influence of aggressive environments. This greatly increases smoothness of their surface, resistance to heat, wear and corrosion. Use of parts with diamond coatings can significantly extend life of equipment, increase its efficiency and reduce costs associated with wear of parts due to friction.