2006 R&D 100 Winner

Diamonds have always been considered an extreme material to surpass all other known materials in their physical properties. Despite this, the use of diamond has been limited to gem jewelry at one end of the spectrum and cutting and grinding applications on the other. Due to the high levels of impurities present in mined diamond, optical, and semiconductor applications have been out of reach. To meet the need for high-purity diamond, researchers at Apollo Diamond, Inc., Framingham, Mass., have developed Apollo Diamond, man-made, high-purity, colorless, real single crystal diamond wafers for optical and semiconductor applications and devices.

Apollo Diamond uses chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to create their man-made diamonds. The lack of any absorbance bands in the 250 to 800 nm range of the UV/Vis spectrum demonstrates the absence of impurities in these single crystal diamonds. These diamonds can be used in high-power lasers, optical data storage, and simple semiconductor devices such as diodes. Other potential applications include uses in life sciences, nanotechnology, and quantum computing.

Single crystal diamond wafers

Apollo Diamond, Inc.

Originally published in R&D Magazine, September, 2006