Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fellowship to Accelerate the Development of Synthetic Diamond Electrochemical Sensors

Oxford, U.K.—20 May 2014—Element Six, the world leader in synthetic diamond supermaterials and member of The De Beers Group of Companies, today announced Professor Julie V. Macpherson, joint group leader of the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group in the Department of Chemistry, at The University of Warwick has been awarded a Royal Society Industry Fellowship, to commence October 2014. The fellowship will allow Prof. Macpherson in collaboration with Element Six to further develop synthetic all-diamond based electrochemical sensors for high performance electroanalytical applications.

Professor Macpherson’s receipt of this prestigious award is an acknowledgement of her continued and sustained contribution to the fundamental understanding of diamond electrochemistry. This pioneering work has led to the development of new synthetic diamond electrochemical sensing devices and techniques, with potential benefits in a wide range of sensing applications, including biomedical, environmental, food, pharmaceuticals and oil and gas. The collaborative award will enable Professor Macpherson over a period of four years to further develop:

• An all-diamond polycrystalline electrochemical sensors, comprising Element Six’s free-standing, boron doped synthetic diamond electrode encapsulated in co-planar insulating diamond (represented in the image below) for next generation sensing applications  
• Combined electrochemical and spectroscopic diamond technologies for the unique chemical identification of complex mixtures of heavy metals at trace levels for contamination   monitoring applications  

Recent developments and research have created new markets for synthetic diamond, which will lead to a number of key product developments in 2014 and beyond. Element Six’s free-standing, boron doped synthetic diamond electrode enables the highest possible sensitivity, selectivity and responsiveness in electroanalysis systems outperforming other electrode materials such as platinum, gold and glassy carbon in many applications. All diamond electrode packages enable sensing technology for harsh environments with applications in exploration, industrial processes and monitoring. Furthermore, synthetic diamond electrochemical sensors have the potential to deliver low cost, high sensitivity trace heavy metal sensing into a wide range of environmental and industrial applications.

“Element Six has been a long-standing partner of the Warwick Electrochemistry and Interfaces Group at The University of Warwick and champion of Prof. Macpherson’s passionate and incredible technical work,” said Adrian Wilson, director of Element Six Technologies Group. “This fellowship will enable us to continue our joint efforts to develop and exploit the powerful properties of synthetic diamond for next generation sensing application. By integrating synthetic diamond sensor technology into our commercial partners’ systems we can help them achieve unprecedented levels of performance in environments where other sensors cannot hold up.”

“I am honored with this recognition by the Royal Society and the tremendous opportunities on the horizon for diamond electrochemical sensors,” said Professor Julie Macpherson, University of Warwick. “This fellowship will really enable us to push forward the significant work already accomplished in partnership with Element Six, building upon the milestones previously achieved and realizing the commercial opportunities.”

The Royal Society Industry Fellowship grant aims to enhance knowledge transfer in science and technology and is awarded to academic scientists working on a collaborative project with an industry partner. As partners, Professor Macpherson will focus on the electrochemical development work tailored to applications of commercial interest with Element Six providing the synthetic diamond technical work at its Global Innovation Centre, in Oxford, U.K.

If you’re interested in learning more about Element Six’s sensor solutions, please visit www.e6.com/sensors.

Element Six’s synthetic all-diamond packaged sensor (boron-doped diamond individually addressable band electrodes) encapsulated in transparent insulating diamond, for high performance electroanalytical sensing applications. Image provided by The University of Warwick (Jon C. Newland image copyright 2014).

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