Artificial Diamonds - New Perspectives for Thuringian Industry

Press release 17/2016

The hardest natural material is diamond. This is the property that aroused the industry's interest in this unique material at an early stage. Diamond is pure carbon, an element that occurs in almost unlimited quantities on earth. Diamond is extremely rare in nature. Its high price today results exclusively from the extreme effort involved in searching for and mining it.

The first diamond was produced artificially in 1953 in a laboratory of the US company General Electric. Since then, researchers worldwide have been working on the production and application of artificially produced diamonds. Today, Germany, Austria and Switzerland in particular are among the world's leading manufacturers of industrial equipment for the production of so-called synthetic diamond coatings. These coatings can be used in many different ways and have long since left the aura of pricelessness behind them.

A nanoscale for eye surgery made of synthetic diamond can be found, for example, in the Guinness Book of Records. Ophthalmologists appreciate the sharpness and durability of the surgical knife. The costs for such a high-tech instrument have already paid for themselves after 20 operations. Tiny gears and precision springs made of diamond are extremely durable, absolutely maintenance-free and form the secret of many Swiss brand watches.

Today, other industries can also benefit from using diamond as an extremely resistant, durable and now affordable material for high-quality products "Made in Germany". In the future, synthetic diamond coatings will be used in sensor technology and electronics, since the requirements for applications in medical technology, environmental technology, aerospace, but also in industrial production technology are constantly increasing. Companies must react here in order to be able to survive on the global markets in the future with new innovations.

Numerous players from plant construction to tool manufacturers, from researchers to developers from industry met in Erfurt to discuss this topic. Reliable and stable manufacturing technologies, quality and costs were on the agenda, as were future products for the new growth markets of environment, medicine, energy technology and industry 4.0. The approximately 60 participants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were able to take the following results home with them:
Supported by research funding over the past decades, these countries are now among the leading suppliers of diamond production equipment. The largest field of application to date is the coating of drilling and milling tools.

Today more than ever, the market demands reliable, highly stable and durable materials at acceptable costs. The manufacturing process of artificial diamonds is environmentally friendly and the starting materials are almost unlimited. The technology is ready and now politics is in demand. The CiS Research Institute in Erfurt took the initiative and founded the cooperation platform "Smart Diamonds" together with the BMBF.
It connects the interdisciplinary actors from science, technology, production and application and thus strengthens the innovative strength of companies and regions.
As a bridge to politics and society, this network draws attention to the current agenda of manufacturers and users of synthetic diamond coatings. On 23 and 24 November 2016, manufacturers and users will jointly deepen the diverse approaches and coordinate an action plan. An exclusive industrial exhibition will demonstrate the success and dynamism of the industry.
Further information on this topic can be found at www.smart-diamonds.de

About CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik GmbH
The CiS Research Institute for Micro Sensors GmbH is a leading R & D provider in the fields of optical, micromechanical, piezoresistive and capacitive sensors and silicon detectors. It employs 120 employees and supports companies in the development of customized solutions in the fields of sensor and microsystem technology and manufactures these in small batches. Basis is the silicon technology with the specialties: 3D structuring, stacking technologies and doublesided wafer processing.

Press contact:
CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik GmbH, 99099 Erfurt, Germany
Uta Neuhaus | Phone.: +49 361 663 1154 | E-Mail: uneuhauscismstde | www.cismst.de

Photos for free publication in connection with the content of this press release
(© CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik GmbH)