The Global market of Nano-Diamond (ND) powders was investigated and the main factors restricting the industrial implementation of ND with the average size of 4-5 nm have been defined: non-constant quality and surface reactivity of commercially available ND, the absence of industrial technologies for dispersing ND in solvents and polymers and insufficient number of ND formulations validated by potential ND consumers. The solution proposed for overcoming the barriers combines the fabrication of pure, uniform and low-cost ND produced by Light Hydro-Dynamic Pulse (LHDP) technology, the industrial Production of Advanced Nano-Diamond Additives (PANDA) in forms of ready-to-use modified ND powders, slurries and masterbatches and the validation of ND formulations by academia and industrial consumers. Technological and economic feasibility of industrial LHDP implementation was investigated and the possibility of 200-fold increase in the process productivity was confirmed. Experimental ND samples were produced varying the intensity of laser irradiation and the obtained ND were characterized by X-Ray diffraction and weighted. It was found, that the minimal power density in the spot needed for ND synthesis by the LHDP was 10^6 W/cm2; 40 % of this powder had the diamond cubic structure, while the rest part was the amorphous carbon. The power density of 10^7 W/cm2 provided 100 % diamond crystallinity not affecting the average size of 4.5 nm. Enhancing the power density from 10^7 to 10^10 resulted in the 2-fold output increase and not affected the ND structure. The power density close to 10^11 W/cm2 leaded to the appearance of 20-30 nm ND particles (~15 %) in the powder of 4-5 nm. The optimization of lthe process enabled to attract a commercially available laser system for industrial fabrication of ND powder with the projected ND output of 600 g/hour.
A technological chain for PANDA consists of the laser ND synthesis manufacturing line and the line for fabrication of ready-to-use ND additives in the form of modified ND powders suluble in numerous fluids, stable colloids based on diverse solvents (aqua, acetone, cyclohexane, NMP, IPA, etc.) and masterbatches based on polyester oil, wax, stearic acid, epoxy resins and other polymers by ND surface modification, disaggregation and uniform incorporation within various media.
Preliminary results of testing ND additives in new applications: 3D printing, thermal management, high refractive index of polymers and energy storage, are presented.
Approaches for the accelerating of ND uptake in traditional applications (coatings, lubricants, polishing and polymers) and scientific issues for ND characterization, validation and new applications development (for bio-medicine, thermal management and high refractive index of polymers, EMI shielding, etc.) are discussed. A new approach of effective treatment of cancer and other severe diseases with modified ND is proposed.