Principal Properties of Diamond

Choose virtually any characteristic of a material - electronic, structural, or optical - and the value associated with diamond will almost always be the most extreme: Diamond is invariably 'the biggest and the best'. The following is a table of the properties of diamond that render it so potentially useful across many fields of science.

Property Value
Hardness 10,000 kg mm-2
Strength, tensile >1.2 GPa
Strength, compressive >110 GPa
Sound velocity 18,000 m s-1
Density 3.52 g cm-3
Young's modulus 1.22 GPa
Poisson's ratio 0.2
Thermal expansion coefficient 0.0000011 K-1
Thermal conductivity 20.0 W cm-1K-1
Thermal shock parameter 30,000,000 W m-1
Debye temperature 2,200 K
Optical index of refraction
(at 591 nm)
Optical transmissivity
(from nm to far IR)
Loss tangent at 40 Hz 0.0006
Dielectric constant 5.7
Dielectric strength 10,000,000 V cm-1
Electron mobility 2,200 cm2 V-1 s-1
Hole mobility 1,600 cm2 V-1 s-1
Electron saturated velocity 27,000,000 cm s-1
Hole saturated velocity 10,000,000 cm s-1
Work function small and negative
(almost zero on [111] surface)
Bandgap 5.45 eV
Resistivity 1013 - 1016 W cm

From: J.E. Field, The Properties of Natural and Synthetic Diamond, (Academic Press, London, 1992).

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