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Episode 1779             Episode 1781
Episode 1780

Synthetic diamond
Sun, 2022-Mar-20 00:03 UTC
Length - 4:15

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Sunday, 20 March 2022 is Synthetic diamond.

Lab-grown diamond (also referred to as synthetic diamond, laboratory-created diamond, manufactured diamond, man-made diamond, or cultured diamond) is diamond that is produced by a manufacturing process, as contrasted with natural diamond created by geological processes and extracted by mining.

Lab-grown diamonds are chemically and physically no different from natural diamonds. They should not be confused with diamond simulant, which is made of non-diamond material. Lab-grown diamonds are the same material as natural diamonds: pure carbon, crystallized in an isotropic 3D form. Records of attempted diamond synthesis date back to the turn of the 20th century. Numerous scientists claimed to have synthesized diamonds between 1879 and 1928, but none was confirmed. In the 1940s, systematic research began in the United States, Sweden and the Soviet Union to grow diamonds, which culminated in the first reproducible synthesis of diamond in 1953.

This early research of diamond synthesis in the U. S., Sweden and the Soviet Union yielded the discovery of the CVD diamond (chemical vapor deposition) and HPHT diamond (high-pressure high-temperature) processes. These two processes still dominate the production of synthetic diamond, but researchers have since discovered a third and fourth method of diamond synthesis. A third method, known as detonation synthesis, entered the diamond market in the late 1990s. In this process, the detonation of carbon-containing explosives creates nanometer-sized diamond grains. Scientists have also demonstrated a fourth method of diamond synthesis, treating graphite with high-power ultrasound, but this process currently has no commercial application.

The properties of synthetic diamond depend on the manufacturing process. However, some synthetic diamonds (whether formed by HPHT or CVD) have properties such as hardness, thermal conductivity and electron mobility that are superior to those of most naturally formed diamonds. Synthetic diamond is widely used in abrasives, in cutting and polishing tools and in heat sinks. Electronic applications of synthetic diamond are being developed, including high-power switches at power stations, high-frequency field-effect transistors and light-emitting diodes. Synthetic diamond detectors of ultraviolet (UV) light or high-energy particles are used at high-energy research facilities and are available commercially. Because of its unique combination of thermal and chemical stability, low thermal expansion and high optical transparency in a wide spectral range, synthetic diamond is becoming the most popular material for optical windows in high-power CO2 lasers and gyrotrons. It is estimated that 98% of industrial-grade diamond demand is supplied with synthetic diamonds. In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission has indicated that the terms laboratory-grown, laboratory-created, and [manufacturer-name]-created "would more clearly communicate the nature of the stone". However, it did not find the term cultured diamonds to be unfair. Both CVD and HPHT diamonds can be cut into gems, and various colors can be produced: clear white, yellow, brown, blue, green, pink and orange. The advent of synthetic gems on the market created major concerns in the diamond trading business, as a result of which special spectroscopic devices and techniques have been developed to distinguish synthetic and natural diamonds.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:03 UTC on Sunday, 20 March 2022.

For the full current version of the article, see Synthetic diamond on Wikipedia.

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