WalliDiam : a step further in diamond coating
Present in the oil exploration market right from the beginning, Diarotech is active in the production chain of the planet’s main source of energy. However, we are fully conscious of social, environmental and energy challenges and have been working for over 10 years to transition to new sources of energy!
Solar power is a good candidate for a future sustainable energy solution:
Source : https://www.inforse.org/europe/dieret/Solar/solar.html
- 1.08 1018 kWh of solar energy reaches the earth’s surface every year. i.e. more than 9.28 1013 TOE*.
- Currently, 100 million barrels of oil are produced every day, equivalent to nearly 1.4 107 TOE*/day. In other words, every day, the earth receives nearly 20,000 times more energy from the sun than what can be released from oil.
- The average daily usable solar power is 340 W/m² on average (including nighttime). It would therefore take 3.3 1010m² to capture the energy consumed by human activity, i.e. half the surface area allocated for agricultural production of biodiesel or the equivalent of the surface area of Belgium
(*TOE, for tonne(s) of oil equivalent, corresponds to the amount of energy that can be released from 1 tonne of oil. Corresponds to 11,630 kWh)
But how can we use our experience, knowledge and expertise to contribute to the energy transition? Perhaps the answer lies in the solution that was found to facilitate the extraction of oil: diamond !
Indeed, besides being the hardest material on earth, diamond has many exceptional properties. These include: a very low friction coefficient, optimal thermal conductivity, extraordinary electronic properties and many others. It is, among other things, a potential candidate for replacing the silicon in the photovoltaic cells used to produce very high-efficiency solar panels.
This is why Diarotech decided to invest in a project to synthesize diamonds using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) to make the best use of all the properties of the diamond film formed.
During the project, the Diarotech team developed and patented a new Chemical Vapor Deposition technology. The laboratory unit developed enables diamond deposition on substrates with a surface area of 0.5 to 3 cm² with speeds of deposition of tens of µm/h and much lower energy consumption than competing technologies.
Many manufacturers have already shown an interest in the quality of the deposits produced. We are currently working on developing a pilot or pre-production unit.
How does it work ?
Diamond is one of the allotropes of carbon in which each carbon atom is bonded to 4 other carbon atoms in a face-centered cubic structure. The carbon is sp³ hybridized. This form contrasts with graphite, where each carbon atom is bonded to three other atoms in the same plane forming sheets with a hexagonal structure. The carbon is then sp² hybridized.
Under normal pressure and temperature conditions, the graphite form is stable, but under certain pressure and temperature conditions, the diamond shape is stable.
Like natural diamond, once synthesized under conditions of stability by our process, the diamond remains metastable under ambient conditions.
The method therefore consists of adding carbon atoms under conditions in which sp³ hybridization is prevalent, which is particularly the case at low pressure and high temperature!
To achieve this, we pass an electric current through a low-pressure gas containing carbon species (methane, acetylene, carbon dioxide, etc.) close to a substrate.
Our distinctive technical capabilities allow us to achieve remarkable results compared to competing technologies !
What’s the result ?
High flexibility in terms of deposit structures ranging from Ultra-Nanocrystalline (UNC) (d < 10nm) to Microcrystalline (d > 100µm) and high deposit speeds of up to tens of microns per hour. Perfect mastery of the process, developed in-house, for impeccable deposition quality :
- Uniform deposition
- Consistent thickness
- Optimized deposit adhesion
- Very low sp²/sp³ rate
- High hardness
- Low granulometric distribution
Exclusive technology combining quality, speed and effectiveness with excellent energy efficiency !