Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Diamonds are technologists' best friends

03.01.2017

Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have grown needle- and thread-like diamonds and studied their useful properties

Physicists from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have obtained diamond crystals in the form of a regular pyramid of micrometer size. Moreover, in cooperation with co-workers from other Russian and foreign research centers they have also studied the luminescence and electron emission properties of obtained diamond crystals. The research results have been represented in a serie of articles published in the leading peer review journals, the most recent appeared in Scientific Reports.


Example of diamond crystallites of different shapes, obtained with the help of the technology, worked out in the Lomonosov Moscow State University. There are electron microscopy images of diamond films' fragments after their oxidation in the air. The material left after the oxidation is represented by needle-like diamond monocrystals of pyramid shape.

Credit: Alexander Obraztsov

Researchers from the Faculty of Physics, the Lomonosov Moscow State University, have described structural peculiarities of micrometer size diamond crystals of needle- and thread-like shapes, and their interrelation with luminescence features and efficiency of field electron emission. The luminescence properties of such thread-like diamond crystals could be used in different types of sensors, quantum optical devices and also for creation of element base for quantum computers and in other areas of science and technology.

The best friends of girls and technologists

Brilliants are polished rough diamond crystals and glorified as "a girl's best friend". Wide use of diamonds in various industrial processes is relatively less famous among ordinary people. However, technological application of diamonds significantly outweighs their jewelry usage and is constantly increasing both in terms of quantity and enhancing the diversity of areas of their application. Such high application significance turns out to be a constant motivation for researchers, busy with elaboration of new methods of diamond synthesis, processing and enduing with necessary features.

One of the problems, which are to be solved for a number of technology developments, is production of needle- and thread-like diamond crystals. Such shaping of original natural and synthetic diamonds is possible due to man-handling (polishing) in the same way as it happens during brilliant production. Other means imply usage of lithography and ion beam technologies, which help to separate fragments of necessary shape from crystals of large size. However, such "cutting" techniques are quite expensive and not always acceptable.

A team of researchers, working at the Faculty of Physics ofthe Lomonosov Moscow State University under the guidance of Professor Alexander Obraztsov, has suggested a technology, which makes possible mass production of small diamond crystals (or crystallites) of needle- and thread-like shapes. The first results, got during the studies in this direction, were published seven years ago in Diamond & Related Materials journal.

Alexander Obraztsov, Professor at the Department of Polymer and Crystal Physics, at the Faculty of Physics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University; Doctor of Science in Physics and Mathematics, being the main research author shares the following comments. He says: "The proposed technique involves usage of a well-known regularity, determining formation of polycrystalline films from crystallites of elongate ("columnar") shape. For instance, ice on a surface of lake often consists of such crystallites, what could be observed while it's melting. Usually, during diamond polycrystalline films production, one strives to provide such conditions, which allow crystallites of columnar shape, composing the films, to tightly connect with each other, creating dense homogeneous structure".

Everything, except diamonds, is gasified

Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have shown that diamond films, which have been previously perceived as "bad quality" ones as they consist of separate crystallites, not connecting with each other, now could be used for production of diamonds in the form of needle- or thread-like developments of regular pyramid form. In order to achieve this, it's necessary to heat such films to definite temperature in air or in another oxygen-containing environment. When heated, a part of the film material begins oxidizing and gasifies. Due to the fact that oxidation temperature depends on the carbon material features, and diamond crystallites oxidation need maximum temperature, it's possible to adjust this temperature so that all the material, except these diamond crystallites, is gasified. This relatively simple technology combines production of polycrystalline diamond films with specified structural characteristics with their heating in the air. It makes possible mass production of diamond crystallites of various shapes (needle- and thread-like ones and so on). Some idea about such crystallites can be obtained from electron microscopy images. The crystallites could be used, for instance, as high hardness elements: a cutter for high- precision processing, indenters or probes for scanning microscopes. Such application was described in the article, published earlier by the team in journal Review of Scientific Instruments. At the moment all probes, produced using this technology, are commercially offered.

It's possible to manage useful properties of a diamond

During follow-up research and developments, conducted at the Faculty of Physics, the Lomonosov Moscow State University, the initial technology has been significantly improved, what has allowed to diversify shapes and sizes of the needle-like crystallites and extend prospective field of their application. Researchers from the Lomonosov Moscow State University have drawn attention to optical properties of a diamond, which are of significant fundamental scientific and applied interest. The results of these studies are represented in the series of articles in Journal of Luminescence, Nanotechnology, and Scientific Reports.

These recent publications describe structural peculiarities of such diamond crystallites and their interrelation with luminescence features and efficiency of field electron emission. As it is mentioned by the researchers, the latter is, probably, the first example of genuine diamond field-emission (or cold) cathode realization. Many efforts have been made for its obtaining and studying of such kind of cathodes for the last two decades. Luminescence properties of the needle-like diamond crystals could be applied in different types of sensors, quantum optical devices and also in creation of element base for quantum computers and in other areas of science and technology.

Alexander Obraztsov further notices: "I'd especially like to highlight the significant input of young researchers - Viktor Kleshch and Rinat Ismagilov - to these studies. Their enthusiasm and intense work have allowed to get the above described results, which are truly new and possess fundamental scientific and applied importance".

The studies have been conducted with support of the Russian Science Foundation.

Media Contact

Vladimir Koryagin
science-release@rector.msu.ru

http://www.msu.ru 

Vladimir Koryagin | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: crystals diamonds luminescence optical devices quantum computers

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht MEMS chips get metatlenses
21.02.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht International team publishes roadmap to enhance radioresistance for space colonization
21.02.2018 | Biogerontology Research Foundation

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>