Diamond Growth and Seeds
Date: Spring 2012
On Nova Science Now (PBS) they have a short video where they show diamonds being grown in a vacuum chamber that has been filled with gas heated to the plasma state. ("Diamond factory" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/artificial-diamonds.html ). The camera focuses on the growth of the diamond seeds, but all around the edges of the seed-plate you can also see some sort of crystal growth going on that is seemingly not related to the diamond seeds. I was wondering if you might know what those additional growths could be?
Unfortunately there seems to be no way to contact the show itself to find out, but I hope that your Lab might have scientists who have experimented with this kind of thing and would know.
The seed was placed into the chamber to facilitate growth. The hope was that most of the gaseous/plasma material would deposit on the seed. However, being that the carbon would deposit anywhere that has the requisite surface activity and carbons to bond with, this can happen practically anywhere in the chamber - especially if the chamber hasn't been cleaned out recently and there are residual particles from previous growth cycles (these particles would also act as seeds).
Greg (Roberto Gregorius)
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Update: June 2012