Our research group specialises in the development of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) and optical spectroscopic methods, and applies these techniques in the study of diamond and other materials/systems. We also work with the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group on the development of Diamond Based Sensors.
Diamond has been valued for its appearance and mechanical properties for at least two thousand years; as a gem stone diamond is unsurpassed. Diamond is an elemental semiconductor with a very large electronic energy gap, impressive carrier mobilities, high electrical breakdown strength and the highest thermal conductivity of any material at room temperature. Pure diamond is optically transparent from the ultra-violet into the infrared and microwave regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, supremely resistant to chemical corrosion and being carbon, biologically compatible in many applications. The list of impressive properties goes on, some of the extreme properties have been known for many years, but the true magnitude of others are still only coming to light as control in synthesis and hence material perfection is improved.
Most of the properties are controlled by defects and impurities and our group focuses on identifying these and exploiting them in the engineering of material for applications as diverse as water quality sensors, single spin magnetometers and power electronic components. The ultimate prize for man made diamond is surely not in the synthesis of gem stones (or should that be “clones”?), but in delivering diamond enabled technological solutions to the challenges facing our society today.