In April of 2017, a group of scientists at Augsburg University in Germany were accredited with growing what is claimed to be the largest lab-grown diamond ever created. The 155-carat diamond is 92 millimetres in diameter (roughly 4 inches) and is the result of 25 years worth of research into growing diamonds within a laboratory. The behemoth gem was grown using the CVD technology and was exposed to around 1/10th of atmospheric pressure.
Since 1991, a team of scientists and researchers at the university led by Dr. Matthias Schreck dedicated their time and resources with a final goal of producing a single crystal cover a large amount of area. Using the CVD process a diamond is created in laboratories using specific conditions whereby hydrocarbon molecules deposit on the surface from the gas phase thus allowing diamond crystals to grow layer by layer.
While the use of lab-grown diamonds mostly caters to the jewelry industry as an ethical and sustainable alternative to mined diamonds, they also have immense technological benefits. As of 2015, Dr. Schreck, Dr. Gsell and Dr. Fisher created the Augsburg Diamond Technology GmbH together to ensure that lab-grown diamonds get commercial applications in different fields as well.
Schreck, one of the CEOs of the start-up says that “Since the beginning of my work at the University of Augsburg, I constantly hear among the diamond community that diamond is the ultimate material for high-performance electronics as it is needed for upgrades to modern power grids”. With their many potential uses, the future for the lab-grown diamond industry looks bright and full of opportunity for growth.
Source: Better Diamond Initiative