Radioflash! Episode 10: Shining Examples

Diamonds have attributes which are useful for current and future defence electromagnetic applications such as quantum communications and navigation.

Diamonds have the highest thermal conductivity of any solid material making them particularly suitable for environments where temperature management is paramount. Electronic warfare, radar and military communications all depend on power amplifiers to transmit radio frequency energy. The more power you send through these amplifiers, the more effective these systems become. However, this can come with a heat penalty making the temperature tolerances of diamonds particularly useful.

Flaws

Furthermore, diamonds are well-placed to contribute to the emerging field of quantum communications where individual defects in the material, commonly known as flaws, help such applications. Diamonds with specific defects to support quantum communications can be produced on demand. Defects can also support quantum sensing applications, notably magnetic field sensing. Magnetic field sensing could support navigation applications not depending on Global Navigation Satellite System constellations.

Element Six produces synthetic diamonds and details on how these are formed can be found here. The company is involved in a Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiative called LADDIS (Large Area Device-quality Diamond Substrates). LADDIS is examining ways in which laboratory-grown diamonds can be used in microelectronics.

If you want to learn more about the role diamonds play in defence electromagnetics? Tune in to our latest Radioflash! podcast. We will be chatting to Ian Friel, Element Six’s business development programme manager and principal scientist Andrew Edmonds.

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Radioflash! Episode 10: Shining Examples (91 downloads)

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by Dr. Thomas Withington