Scientists at Augsburg University in Germany have created the world’s largest disclosed synthetic diamond - a single 155-carat crystal diamond in disc form, with a diameter of 92 millimeters.
Since the research began in 1991, they have developed a process for producing synthetic diamonds through chemical vapor deposition at around one tenth of atmospheric pressure. Hydrocarbon molecules are deposited on an iridium base and the diamond "wafer" grows layer by layer.
The discoid form of synthetic diamonds means they have only limited potential for use in jewelry. But physicist Matthias Schreck, who led the study, said there were numerous industrial applications, including in mechanics, optics and electronics. The diamonds could also help us produce more of our energy from renewable sources.
According to the university's website, two synthetic diamond crystals made in Augsburg have recently been used for measurements in the accelerator ring at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research).