DailyDirt: Useful Diamonds
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Diamonds are a fascinating and unique material. So far, though, manufacturing large diamonds on a large scale isn’t very economical, but there actually are a few processes that do make small, commercial synthetic diamonds. If cheap diamonds could be made to arbitrary dimensions, then all sorts of “Diamond Age” technologies could make things more durable or significantly better. (eg. Diamonds could replace silicon as a semiconducting substrate in electronics, and diamond touchscreens would be pretty scratch resistant.) Here are a few uses of diamonds that could provide a bit more value than gemstones.
- Silk-coated nanodiamonds could be injected into living cells and used for medical imaging. The nanodiamonds fluoresce after being illuminated with particular wavelengths of light, and the silk coating makes the nanodiamonds capable of floating freely inside a cell without getting stuck to the cell membrane. [url]
- A diamond anvil cell can compress samples to extreme pressures — such as those found in the interior of the earth or on distant gas giant planets. Diamonds can take the pressure and are transparent, which allows researchers to watch what’s going on in these tiny diamond pressure chambers. [url]
- Diamond nanocrystals (with small defects) could be useful for molecular imaging — combining NMR/MRI techniques to detect the structures of single proteins. Diamond nanocrystals could also be placed on a scanning microscope for imaging techniques. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.