Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT) Madras will receive a grant of Rs. 242 Crore over a period of five years to undertake research on Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD). The research will be focused on indigenization on the LGD manufacturing process.
“Lab-grown Diamonds (LGD) is a technology and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential. These environment-friendly diamonds have optically and chemically the same properties as natural diamonds. To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated during her budget speech on February 1.
As per a recommendation made by the Department of Commerce, the research grant of Rs. 242 crores over a period of five years to IIT Madras has been approved.
IIT Madras Director Prof. V. Kamakoti thanked Sitharaman for selecting IIT Madras for the implementation of such an important project, the output of which will be a crucial component of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
“This is indeed the right time to set up a diamond factory in India, given that diamonds have thermal and electrical properties making them superior to contemporary technologies like silicon, silicon carbide, and gallium nitride. IIT Madras will work towards producing diamond wafers suitable for electronic applications," stated Kamakoti.
MS Ramachandra Rao, also the faculty-lead of MSRC (Materials Science Research Centre), NFMTC (Nano-Functional Materials Technology Centre), and QuCenDiEM (Quantum Centre for Diamond and Emergent Materials) at IIT Madras stated that the growing demand for lab-grown diamonds requires dedicated research to realise not only gem-quality diamonds but also to realise a plethora of electronic applications (5G/6G, magnetometry, thermal management, sensors, and quantum technologies).
"The science and technology of diamond growth processes are complicated to understand, and most of the machines, especially HPHT (High-Pressure High Temperature), are imported in India. Moreover, the reactor manufacturers do not provide recipes to realise single crystal diamonds," Rao added.
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