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Diamonds are a nuclear reactor‚??s best friend!

16 November 2007 | By Mark Osborne | Editor's Blog

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Though off my beat, I found a press release from sp3 Diamond Technologies, a company involved in the semiconductor industry but with tentacles in many places announce that their technology is being used by Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland.  The University is using the technology to evaluate the benefits of using diamond-coated reactors for the next generation of fusion reactors due to diamonds’ ability to withstand the intense heat involved in the process. 

The University has purchased one of sp3’s CVD diamond deposition tools as part of a €10 billion research project aimed at developing waste-free nuclear energy without contributing to global warming via the Euro International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) program.

With solar being all the rage these days, we can tend to forget that alternative energy sources exist and regard well-known alternatives with frightened disdain (mainly for good reason).

The tool purchased allows for large area deposition of high quality polycrystalline diamond films with a thickness of between 200 nanometers and 50 microns, which is impressive in itself.

But it’s those amazing things we call diamonds that should perhaps get the real credit and sp3’s President Dwain Aidala tends to agree, saying in the press release: “We are entering an age when the unparalleled qualities of diamond are coming to the fore and we will see more and more applications adopting it as a material of choice.”

With gold reaching new price heights, my bet is that diamonds will eventually prove to be the material of choice - remember women are so superior to men that they have known all along that diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

For more information on Heriot-Watt’s role in the development program click here.

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