The properties and applications of nanodiamonds

Abstract

Nanodiamonds have excellent mechanical and optical properties, high surface areas and tunable surface structures. They are also non-toxic, which makes them well suited to biomedical applications. Here we review the synthesis, structure, properties, surface chemistry and phase transformations of individual nanodiamonds and clusters of nanodiamonds. In particular we discuss the rational control of the mechanical, chemical, electronic and optical properties of nanodiamonds through surface doping, interior doping and the introduction of functional groups. These little gems have a wide range of potential applications in tribology, drug delivery, bioimaging and tissue engineering, and also as protein mimics and a filler material for nanocomposites.

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Figure 1: Detonation synthesis of nanodiamonds.
Figure 2: Structure of a single nanodiamond particle.
Figure 3: Raman spectroscopy and structure of nanodiamond.
Figure 4: Optical properties of nanodiamonds.
Figure 5: Surface modification.
Figure 6: Advanced atomic-level composite design with nanodiamond.
Figure 7: Nanodiamonds and drug delivery.

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Acknowledgements

We thank our students and post-docs who helped to collect data and to write and revise the paper, and V. Danilenko for useful discussions. V.N.M. and Y.G. acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation (CMMI-0927963, nanodiamond–polymer composites) and from FIRST (Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (nanodiamond chemistry, graphitization and carbon nanoonions). O.S. was supported in part by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Centers (N66001-04-1-8933) and the Army Research Laboratory (W911NF-04-2-0023). D.H. was supported by the National Science Foundation (CMMI-0846323, CMMI-0856492, DMI-0327077, DMR-1105060), the National Center for Learning and Teaching, the V Foundation for Cancer Research Scholars Award, the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Award, National Cancer Institute (U54CA151880 and 1R01CA159178-01) and the EU Framework Programme (FP7-KBBE-2009-3).

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Correspondence to Yury Gogotsi.

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Mochalin, V., Shenderova, O., Ho, D. et al. The properties and applications of nanodiamonds. Nature Nanotech 7, 11–23 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2011.209

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