May
08
2006

Make your own 'bling' (diamonds that is)


10 Carat Diamond: Credit: Carnegie Institution This 5-carat diamond was laser-cut from a 10-carat single crystal produced by high-growth rate CVD.

If a small diamond is placed in an environment with just the right pressure, temperature, and an atmosphere rich in vaporized carbon, the carbon vapor will start attaching to the surfaces of the "seed" diamond. Layer by layer the diamond will get bigger. Scientists think that growing 300 carat diamonds (one inch) will soon be possible.

Researchers at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. have produced 10-carat, half-inch thick single-crystal diamonds at rapid growth rates (100 micrometers per hour) using a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The size is approximately five times that of commercially available diamonds produced by the standard high-pressure/high-temperature (HPHT) method and other CVD techniques.


Growing diamonds: Credit: Carnegie Institution Single-crystal diamond block formed by deposition on 6 {100} faces of a substrate diamond, such as the 4 x 4 x 1.5 mm3 crystal shown below.

High-quality crystals more than three carats are very difficult to produce using the conventional approach," said scientist Russell Hemley, who leads the diamond effort at Carnegie. "Several groups have begun to grow diamond single crystals by CVD, but large, colorless, and flawless ones remain a challenge. Our fabrication of 10-carat, half-inch, CVD diamonds is a major breakthrough." The standard growth rate is 100 micrometers per hour for the Carnegie process, but growth rates in excess of 300 micrometers per hour have been reached, and 1 millimeter per hour may be possible.

With the colorless diamond produced at ever higher growth rate and low cost, large blocks of diamond should be available for a variety of applications. “The diamond age is upon us,” concluded Hemley.

Carnegie News release

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Warriyour's picture
Warriyour says:

i think that this would be a great idea if i could make my own diammond then awhole lot of people would be so happy in making their own ways through..

posted on Wed, 05/10/2006 - 8:44pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think its really cool that they found out that you can grow your own diamond it seems total cool, and it is cool that it grows so fast i think all the stuff about it is really interesting an cool i would like to learn more about it soon!!!!!

posted on Mon, 05/15/2006 - 11:44am
Pete G.'s picture
Pete G. says:

The question is: Are these grown diamonds as hard as diamonds which have developed over thousands of years? I really cannot imagine that...

posted on Wed, 08/02/2006 - 6:33am
Anonymous101's picture
Anonymous101 says:

Artificial diamonds are usually harder than most natural ones because it's easier to avoid the impurities that natural ones have, the length of time used to make a diamond or the conditions it's made in don't have an effect on strength so long as the chemistry of the crystal remains the same, hence stronger diamonds than what's found in nature.

posted on Sun, 01/27/2013 - 6:11pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

Yes they are as hard. They are so hard they make great "anvils" which can be used to create enormous squeezing pressures. This article tell how dry ice was squeezed so hard it turned into a different material.

posted on Thu, 08/03/2006 - 9:33am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

If its possable to grow your own diamond what do you need to do this?

posted on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 12:16am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

How do you grow Arogonite

posted on Fri, 04/04/2008 - 12:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Mythbusters says that's false

posted on Sun, 07/11/2010 - 9:51pm
Shana's picture
Shana says:

But it's not--Gemesis is a company that makes synthetic diamonds, and I believe there are others as well.

What's so great about these diamonds is that they compete with a horrible market. Throughout much of the 20th century, DeBeers had a monopoly on the diamond market. Diamonds are not actually that rare--they're uncommon, but it's the demand for diamonds, coupled with DeBeers' practice of hoarding them and only releasing a small amount into the market each year that made them ridiculous expensive. While that in itself is lame enough, it gets worse.

DeBeers owns mines in parts of Africa, where it created work camps. Male workers lived in these camps and were not permitted to leave during the work season, nor were they permitted to bring their families. In some cases, if they wanted to leave the mines they would be subjected to full-body x-rays to make sure they didn't swallow any diamonds. I don't know if these camps are still in operation--I used to work at a jewelry store, which is where I read about these horrible practices.

Of course, if DeBeers had paid the workers a salary according to their work and let them live in humane conditions, they wouldn't have to worry about people taking diamonds. Nevermind that DeBeers shouldn't be the primary profiteer on land that should belong to the people who live there.

Then of course there are blood diamonds, used to fuel conflicts in several countries in Africa. Even certified diamonds put profit in the hands of jerks like DeBeers. The diamond industry puts bling on fingers in industrialized nations at a massive, inhumane cost to developing nations, and people use these filthy stones to symbolize their marriages and other important events. So I'm glad there's an alternative that comes with a clean conscience, and a lower price tag to boot.

posted on Mon, 07/12/2010 - 10:04am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

This is busted. Check out mythbusters episode of homemade diamonds.

posted on Fri, 03/18/2011 - 1:32pm

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