The diamonds mined today were formed millions of years ago from carbon in the molten rock of Earth’s mantle, about 100 miles below the planet’s surface. In order to transform into a diamond, carbon must be placed under at least 435,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure and temperatures of at least 1,700 degrees Celsius. If conditions drop below either of these two points, graphite is formed instead of diamond. Powerful magma eruptions brought most of today’s earth-mined diamonds to the surface more than 20 million years ago.
Diamond’s superior mechanical properties, potential uses in electronics, biotechnology and optics, and value as a gemstone have spawned numerous attempts to recreate nature’s work in the lab. Until recently, these efforts have been met with only limited success. Scio Diamond’s patent-protected CVD process now introduces significant market opportunities for these industry applications.