6Producing Fluorescent Nanodiamonds

Natural diamonds in colors are commonly known as fancies, or fancy color diamonds, in gemstone industries. They are rare, beautiful, and some even carry impressive price tags in the jewelry market. By comparison, micro‐ and nanoscale diamond powders are low in price, with or without colors and fluorescent or not. These powders have been used as abrasives for grinding and polishing purposes since ancient time, mainly because of their extraordinary hardness. Little or no attention has been paid over the centuries to other properties of nanodiamonds such as their innate biocompatibility and light‐emitting capability. The invention of fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) in 2005 has revolutionized the field, opening a new area of research and development with diamonds [1]. Experiments with FNDs in the last decade have demonstrated various promising applications of surface‐functionalized FNDs in diversified fields, ranging from physics and chemistry to biology and medicine [2]. It is worthy of noting that as originated from the discovery of Radium by Marie Skłodowska Curie (Section 3.2), FNDs may very well be called Madame Curie’s gemstones, valued appropriately as a scientist’s best friend.

In this chapter, we focus our attention on the principles and practices of producing FNDs in a large‐scale quantity, which is the first step towards broad applications of the nanomaterials in biology and nanoscale medicine (cf., Chapters 710). Additionally, we will ...

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