Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Diamond Growth and Seeds


Name: Kim Status: other Grade: 12+ Location: CA Country: USA Date: Spring 2012

Question:
Hello, On Nova Science Now (PBS) they have a short video where they show diamonds being grown in a vacuum chamber that has been filled with gas heated to the plasma state. ("Diamond factory" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/artificial-diamonds.html ). The camera focuses on the growth of the diamond seeds, but all around the edges of the seed-plate you can also see some sort of crystal growth going on that is seemingly not related to the diamond seeds. I was wondering if you might know what those additional growths could be?

Unfortunately there seems to be no way to contact the show itself to find out, but I hope that your Lab might have scientists who have experimented with this kind of thing and would know.

Replies:
Kim,

The seed was placed into the chamber to facilitate growth. The hope was that most of the gaseous/plasma material would deposit on the seed. However, being that the carbon would deposit anywhere that has the requisite surface activity and carbons to bond with, this can happen practically anywhere in the chamber - especially if the chamber hasn't been cleaned out recently and there are residual particles from previous growth cycles (these particles would also act as seeds).

Greg (Roberto Gregorius) Canisius College


Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory