University Claims ‘Better, Faster’ Synthetic Diamonds

The University of Alabama at Birmingham claims it has a new method for growing synthetic diamonds "100 to 200 times" faster than conventional methods. The new method uses microwave plasma technology, says Dr. Yogesh Vohra, physics professor at the university, who holds the patent to the new technology. Vohra says his new device can grow diamonds weighing a carat or more in a matter of days. "With the addition of boron in the microwave plasma, a large blue diamond like the Hope diamond can be grown in the laboratory," Vohra says. He says it can also grow several stones simultaneously. The patented process currently uses nitrogen in the growth process. This creates a yellow diamond that can be heated under high pressure to produce a light yellow or nearly colorless stone. Vohra is working to grow white diamonds at a higher rate to eliminate the purification steps from the growth proc

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