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Preparation and assessment of high quality superhard materials


Foreseen Results

The project aims at developing state of the art techniques, to increase the capability of the EU and CCE/NIS partners to design and produce high quality diamond films and bulk crystalline cBN for cutting tools, in electronics and for radiation detectors. Besides the economical and technical benefits, significant scientific contributions in solid state physics and materials science are expected. The project will also contribute to the stabilization and development of the RTD potential in the CCE/NIS partner countries.
Diamond and cubic boron nitride (cBN) are two of the hardest known materials, possessing a bouquet of exceptional physical and chemical properties which makes them the materials of choice for many industrial applications ranging from cutting tools to applications in optics, electronics, or radiation detectors. During the last decades the industrial synthesis of crystalline diamond has reached its full maturity. The synthesis of crystalline diamond films for industrial applications and of high quality (yellow/amber) bulk crystalline cBN are still in the developing stage.

The objectives of this joint research proposal are :

To develop innovative techniques for synthesis of high quality (large size, optical/electronic grade purity and highly homogeneous) polycrystalline diamond films and bulk single crystalline cBN (yellow/amber quality), for cutting tools, electronics and radiation detectors, improving the actual technologies employed by the partner CCE/NIS industrial enterprises.
To determine the synthesis parameters and their optimal values for improved synthesis process control and process sustainability
To identify a set of material parameters and their optimal values, to be used as reference values in industrial quality assessment of the resulting materials

The key role determining the best manufacturing method and the optimization of the synthesis parameters shall be played by systematic characterization of the resulting crystalline materials by many advanced analytical techniques brought together by the partners of this project, i.e., Raman, optical and laser spectroscopy and photoluminescence, low and high frequency ESR (Electron Spin Resonance), TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) and HREM (High Resolution Electron Microscopy), SAED (Selected Area Electron Diffraction), X-ray diffraction, SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry), electrical conductivity, charge collection distance measurement and mechanical tests. The analysis of the results of these measurements, in correlation with the parameters of the synthesis process, will lead to the identification of the best synthesis procedure, to the optimization of the growth parameters, improvements in the quality of the resulting materials and determination of the parameters for industrial quality assessment.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Universitair Centrum Antwerpen - Universiteit Antwerpen
171,Groenenborgerlaan 171
2020 Antwerpen

Participants (6)

DACIA Synthetic Diamond Co.
5,Timisoara Boulevard
77350 Bucuresti
Diagascrown Ltd.
17A,bolshaya Cheremushkinskaya
113447 Moscow
Institute of General Physics - Russian Academy of Sciences
38,Vavilov Street
117942 Moskva
National Institute of Materials Physics
1,Atomistilor Street
76900 Bucuresti - Magurele
Universitaire Instelling Antwerpen - Universiteit Antwerpen
2610 Wilrijk
Università degli Studi di Torino
Via Pietro Giuria 1
10125 Torino