Element Six spins out new company to develop diamond detectors

2 May 2007

Diamond Detectors Ltd is a spin-out company set up by Element Six (E6) to exploit the potential of synthetic diamond in novel detectors for a range of markets. The company will focus on the development of customised detector solutions and will initially target four main markets: high energy physics, nuclear monitoring, radiotherapy dosimetry and deep-UV detection.

“Spinning out Diamond Detectors will help accelerate the commercialisation of diamond detectors and devices,” explains Christian Hultner, CEO of E6.  “This new venture demonstrates the rapid pace of development and exploitation of the truly remarkable properties of diamond as an advanced engineering material.  It is an exciting time: we are standing at the threshold of an era when a raft of new diamond products has become possible, thanks to breakthroughs in chemical vapour deposition (CVD) processes for diamond synthesis.  E6 is at the forefront of developments in CVD diamond and is committed to future investment in this technology.”

Diamond as a detector

“Diamond has long been recognised as a semiconductor material that can detect many types of radiation from UV and X-rays to particle detection,” says Kevin Oliver, Technical Director of Diamond Detectors.  “The ability to make diamond material of the size, quality and consistency required for advanced detection applications opens up significant new potential markets for novel detectors in a wide range of industries.  It also enables us to overcome the inherent problems associated with the selection of appropriate natural diamonds in existing detector applications.”

The initial products under development cover applications in high energy physics research such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project at CERN, the new Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR) under development at GSI in Germany as well as the Diamond Light Source, the largest UK funded scientific facility to be built for over 30 years.  Industrial applications include alpha, beta and neutron detection in the nuclear industry.  Also on the horizon are development projects for detectors for use in medical dosimetry, data logging in oil well exploration, UV applications such as photolithography and cleaning for semiconductor manufacturing.  “Diamond Detectors is already working closely with a number of industrial partners on the future commercialisation of these potential products,” says Kevin Oliver.

ENDS

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