Symposium NM06—Nanodiamonds—Synthesis, Characterization, Surface Chemistry and Applications
Interest in small quasi-spherical diamond particles with size in single digit nanometer domain has grown rapidly over the last decade. Major driving force for this increased interest came from promising discoveries in medical applications of nanodiamonds in theranostics, including drug delivery and biomedical imaging. Nanodiamond is a truly theranostic platform, combining all these modalities in a single non-toxic biocompatible nanomaterial, attracting a significant interest of biologists, biomedical engineers, and medical researchers. Photonic and spin properties of color centers in nanodiamonds promise exciting applications in ultrasensitive metrology at nanoscale detecting changes in magnetic and electric fields, temperature and pressure. Materials scientists are interested in nanodiamond as nanofiller for advanced composites, novel optical materials, heat conductors, and many other applications where the use of well dispersed nanodiamond promises the possibility to fully benefit from superior properties of diamond.
Recent research into formation of carbon clusters during detonation will contribute to fundamental knowledge about mechanisms of diamond formation at the nanoscale in extreme conditions, as well as help us to explain its stability and structure. In addition to unique structure, all applications of nanodiamond require fundamental understanding of its properties, including chemical properties of its surface. Although a definite progress has been made in this area, many old and new questions remain unanswered. For example, there are still challenges in preparation of analytically acceptable standard sample of well dispersed primary nanodiamond particles, as well as in understanding of their structure and surface chemistry. It is not clear why NV centers in single digit nanodiamond particles are showing much weaker and unstable fluorescence, whereas in larger diamonds these centers are very stable and bright. A possible role of size and surface chemistry in these effects needs to be further examined. Production of nanodiamond particles with NV or SiV centers of uniform brightness remains another challenge in this area. Particle surface is critically important for any nanoparticles, but for nanodiamond, where the surface-to-bulk atomic carbon ratio reaches 20% and the surface is rich both in number and types of functional groups, the effects of surface chemistry become utterly important. Dispersion of nanodiamond into stable single digit colloids in water and non-aqueous solvents, as well as developing of nanodiamonds for polymer-, metal- and ceramic-matrix composites or for theranostic platforms will not be possible without knowing details of nanodiamond structure and rational modification of its surface chemistry. Better understanding of these details is particularly critical in the development of scalable manufacturing of nanodiamond-based theranostics for commercial and clinical applications. Definitive advantages of nanodiamonds are unique: they have highly crystalline inert diamond core and a reactive surface providing nearly endless opportunities for modification without compromising the superior properties delivered by the core. This symposium will be of interest for a broad community of materials scientists, chemists, physicists, and researchers working in biomedical areas, energy, and catalysis. We also anticipate interest from industry.