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Synthetic diamond film production. Close-up of plasma inside a machine used to synthesise a synthetic diamond film for use in medical applications, such as radiotherapy dosimeters, and artificial retinas. Diamond is the only known inert material that is also a semiconductor and it is this property that makes them suitable for use in and around the human body. A layer of silicon is placed in a chamber and a mixture of hydrogen and methane, heated using microwaves, is injected into it. This forms a plasma gas (seen here), which is deposited on a plate as a film. Photographed at CEA LIST, Paris, France.
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