Electrically Conducting Diamond Powder for Use as an Electrochemical Electrode

 

Introduction

 

Diamond is a material of significant interest in material science given its collection of impressive mechanical, electrical, acoustic, and chemical properties. One method of fabricating thin-films of synthetic diamond is through chemical vapor deposition. Conductive diamond can be grown in the presence of boron. Conducting diamond powder can be added to augment the electrode surface area for higher capacity in reducing or oxidizing chemical species.

 

Description of Technology

 

The invention is a process for forming electrically conducting diamond particles (diamond powder) that are bound to a layer of electric conducting diamond. The particles are held in direct contact with each other using a binder such as ceramic, metal, or a polymer like poly(tetrafluoroethylene). The diamond powder is a partial to full overcoat with the diamond conducting layer. In addition, catalytic metals such as platinum have been added to the diamond powder to enhance certain catalytic activities.

 

Key Benefits

  • Higher capacity electrocatalysis: Diamond powder augments the surface area available to species arriving at the electrode interface for subsequent reduction or oxidation.
  • Large working potential window: Diamond can reduce or oxide chemicals from a broad range of electrochemical potentials before electrolyzing the aqueous environment itself; thus diamond electrodes can be used to interrogate or remediate a vast range of chemicals in industrial and environmental applications.

 

Applications

 

Several markets would benefit from this invention, in particular, companies that manufacture electrolyzers to generate chlorine and ozone or reactors that electrochemically remediate toxic waste. Diamond powder electrodes can also be used for electrochemical detection of an array of chemicals in aqueous solutions.

 

Development Status

 

Prototype exists; proof of concept demonstrated.

 

Patent Status

 

1 U.S. patent issued: 7,534,296

 

Inventors

 

Greg Swain, Anne Fischer, Jason Bennet, Michael Lowe

 

Tech ID

 

TEC2006-0041

 

Patent Information: