Diamond films are among the most extraordinary materials on the planet. They are strong, transparent and they conduct heat well. They are biologically inert but can also be chemically functionalised by attaching molecules to their surface. What’s more, when doped, they become semiconductors and so can be used in electronic circuits.
So it’s no wonder that materials scientists are licking their lips at the prospect of incorporating this wonder material into more or less any device they can think of.
But there’s a problem. Diamond films have to be grown at high temperatures in an atmosphere of pure hydrogen, which is not compatible with the way other microdevices are made, such as silicon chips.
So a useful trick would be to have a way to make diamonds films in one place and then transfer them to another so that they can be placed onto chips and other devices.
Today, Venkatesh Seshan at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in The Netherlands and a few pals, say they have perfected a way to grow diamond films on a quartz substrate, separate the films and then pick them up and place them somewhere else.To read more, click here.