Technical Background

Amorphic Diamond is an acronym composed from syllables of "Amorphous Ceramic Diamond." It was intended to lower the tension of an apparent self-contradiction between the terms "diamond" which is crystalline and "amorphous" which means there is no long-range order to a material.

While crystalline diamond is immediately recognized in almost every society at all levels, it is almost unknown that there are actually two naturally-occurring crystal forms; cubic and hexagonal. Cubic is the "common" variety, while hexagonal diamond is truly rare. In nature diamonds grew slowly from liquid "melts" as the material cooled under extreme pressure. There was time for one single crystal pattern, usually cubic, to grow throughout the sample.

When a laser beam is focused upon a carbon surface a "fireball" of extremely hot carbon ions explodes outward. Upon striking a surface their impact briefly creates an impulse of very high pressure and the carbon material cools under this pressure to become diamond. The process is too fast for one crystal form to dominate and structures alternate randomly on a molecular scale between cubic and hexagonal. The result is a coating with the unique properties immediately associated with diamond, but without the long-range order that insures crystalline geometry.

In summary Amorphic Diamond is made from graphite carbon and laser light without toxic waste or noxious byproducts. As a conformal coating it is harder than natural diamond and "slicker" than Teflon. Because it condenses from such energetic precursors, there is chemistry at the interface with the material it coats; and Amorphic Diamond coatings become chemically bonded to almost any material compatible with the vacuum in which it must be deposited. Metals such as Ti, Al, Co, Fe, and most steels have been coated directly. Optical materials such as quartz, Ge, ZnS, and ZnSe; electronic materials such as Si and GaAs; and miscellaneous compounds such as plastic, glass, and even paper are routinely coated. Against abrasive wear, coatings of 1 mm (i.e. 1/10 the diameter of a hair) increase service lifetime by factors of 3 to 10. This means that wear lifetimes can be increased by factors of 1000 to 10,000 with Amorphic Diamond coatings thinner than the diameter of a human hair. Even more remarkable is that these coatings emit more electrons at a given temperature than any other material or artificial fabrication.

Many technical publications support these assertions.