Diamond film from fullerenes

Published: Friday 30 September 1994

Scientists at the US's Argonne National Laboratory have found a cheap and quick method to produce diamond films by using soccer ball-shaped carbon molecules called fullerenes (Science, Vol 265, No 5172).

Diamond films are used in electronic circuits to remove heat and as a tough coating for machine tools. The conventional method takes up to 10 hours to manufacture a 10 micron thick film, while the new method takes about 2 1/2 hours and cuts costs to 1/4th.

In the new method, a silicon wafer containing flecks of diamond powder is placed in a vacuum chamber along with vaporised fullerenes and argon gas. Heated argon atoms smash the fullerenes into carbon-carbon pairs that then bind to the dispersed diamond nuclei, forming a single film.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.