Wednesday 25 April 2018

Minute diamond coin to mark Jubilee

The 'world's smallest diamond coin' has been created to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee
The 'world's smallest diamond coin' has been created to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Scientists have created the "world's smallest diamond coin" to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

They used a sliver of diamond to create the commemorative item, which features an image of the Queen's profile.

It is so tiny that about 1,300 of the coins could fit side by side on the width of the smallest letter on a 5p piece, The coin was created at the University of Glasgow's James Watt Nanofabrication Centre.

Dr David Moran, lead of the nanoelectronic diamond devices and systems group, said: "We're proud to be celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with the creation of the world's smallest diamond coin.

"Diamond is not just an attractive material for use in jewellery; it also has a range of unique physical properties which make it ideal for use in a range of advanced fields of engineering.

"It's an excellent thermal conductor and has a high tolerance for radiation, which makes it perfect for use in applications such as electronic transistors and robust enough to be used in challenging environments such as outer space.

"We're researching a wide range of practical applications for diamond technology and creating this diamond coin is an excellent way to demonstrate the capabilities of the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre."

To create the coin, the scientists etched the image on to a laboratory-grown diamond covered in a special polymer. Using high-resolution electron beam lithography, the profile of the Queen's head was patterned on to the polymer and was then transferred to the diamond below using a process known as ICP reactive ion etching.

The coin measures 750 nanometres across and features an image of the Queen's profile 580 nanometres high. A nanometre is one-billionth of a metre.

Scientists said 2,600 billion of the coins would fill a volume equivalent to that of £1 coin. The work was carried out by PhD student Andrew Greer under the direction of Dr Moran.

Press Association

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