Micromechanics

Shaping diamond at a micron scale

LakeDiamond produces single-crystal diamond components for watches and micromechanical devices. Diamond is ideal in this field thanks to its unsurpassed hardness, its solidity and elasticity, and the extremely low friction arising from contact with another diamond surface. LakeDiamond is the only company able to manufacture solid diamond micromechanical parts of any shape with an accuracy of 1μm.

We are currently developing watch components in collaboration with a major Swiss watch manufacturer. Some of the designs need to be modified to account for the exceptional hardness and elasticity of diamonds. All micromechanical gears produced are created from plates grown by LakeDiamond.

Diamond components have many more applications than just watchmaking. Our diamonds can be used in any kind of highprecision device, such as robots for operating in a chemically agressive environment. The emerging field of nanorobotics represents another extremely high-potential market.

Photonics

Diamond is the ultimate material for high-power operations

In the field of photonics, LakeDiamond is able to draw on 20 years of research on infrared lasers performed in the laboratory run by EPFL professor Eli Kapon, currently working as LakeDiamond's Head of Photonics. For this promising application, LakeDiamond leverages two of the extraordinary properties of diamond: its unmatched heat conductivity and its supreme transparency.

Lasers are the most intense source of light. However, one of their biggest challenges in industrial applications is evacuating the heat generated within the light-producing region. By placing a diamond in that region, heat is dissipated most efficiently. Together with Professor Kapon, LakeDiamond holds the world record for the most powerful infrared vertical external cavity surface emitting laser. This type of laser emits a very pure and intense beam of light in the part of the spectrum that is safest for the naked eye. A patent protecting the best configuration of these high-power, record-holding lasers has been granted, and LakeDiamond – which financed this research – has exclusive rights to this key patent.

Electronics

Diamond can advantageously replace all materials used in high-power transistors.

Diamond has the advantage of being able to replace all materials in high-power transistors. In this application, LakeDiamond takes full advantage of diamond’s exceptional heat conductivity and extreme breaking voltage. Thanks to these properties, the size of transistors and their efficiency can be dramatically improved; diamond-based transistors can be up to 100,000 times smaller than silicon-based ones.

The use of diamond transistors is particularly relevant for rapid battery charging, which requires more than 20kW of power. This type of battery charging is mostly envisaged for electric cars – a booming market.

Diamond-based electronic devices belong to a subgroup of the semiconductor industry within the overall power electronics market. All diamond transistor developments use the ultra-pure plates grown and transformed by LakeDiamond.

Biotech

Sensing of magnetic fields has important applications in medicine

Magnetic field sensing has important applications in medicine, in particular for monitoring heart and brain activity and detecting biological molecules in body fluids. In order to be effective, sensing devices (magnetometers) must be able to measure very weak magnetic fields. Such devices exist but are not in widespread use because they are very expensive and complex to operate.

The NV approach to magnetic field sensing is highly promising.

The NV-based magnetometers hold promise for biomedical applications, as they can reach the required sensistivity at room temperature.

LakeDiamond has teamed up with EPFL professor Christophe Galland on this promising topic and was recently awarded project funding through the EPFLinnovators program.

Jewellery

Diamond

High quality swiss made diamonds

Lab-grown diamonds are at the crossroads of powerful trends shaping the broader luxury industry and the diamond business in particular, namely:

  • millennials as the most promising growth drivers
  • the quest for innovation
  • the sustainability imperative.

In our view, lab-grown diamonds are the answer to the shortcomings of the mined-diamond market and are the ideal material – both innovative and sustainable – to win over consumers. Our vision is to deliver exceptional lab-grown diamonds to the fine jewellery market. Our diamonds combine the most sought-after features: they are pure, rare, traceable and produced sustainably. As a niche, Swiss-based company capable of growing ultra-pure type IIa diamonds, LakeDiamond is ideally positioned to penetrate a market characterised by high entry barriers and serve the needs of demanding jewellery brands.

Based on the most recent market research and industry feedback on future challenges, we believe that a narrative built around these features coupled with a luxury branding will ensure sustainably high prices for lab-grown diamonds. This narrative will appeal to millennials, meet the sustainability and innovation criteria set by fine jewellery brands, and emphasise the diamonds’ Swiss provenance (which itself commands an important price premium). These factors, combined with (i) an exclusive partnership with a jewellery brand and (ii) a luxury pricing strategy, will contribute to the new value storytelling about lab-grown diamonds.