IIT Madras to receive Rs 242 crore for research on Lab Grown Diamonds in Budget 2023

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) will be provided a grant of Rs 242 Crore over a period of five years to undertake research on Lab Grown Diamonds (LGD). This research will be focused on driving indigenization of the LGD manufacturing process. Presenting the Budget 2023, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Lab grown Diamonds (LGD) is a technology and innovation-driven emerging sector with high employment potential. These environment-friendly diamonds have optically and chemically the same properties as natural diamonds. To encourage indigenous production of LGD seeds and machines and to reduce import dependency, a research and development grant will be provided to one of the IITs for five years.”
The research grants will go towards various departments and research groups of the Institute that are involved in this field. IIT Madras has a history of undertaking cutting-edge and translational research with significant applications in industry and society.
The global diamond market demands bigger and high pure lab-grown diamond crystals for commercial and electronic applications. There is a need for research and development to conduct systematic studies to optimize the process parameters to grow high pure large-volume and scalable diamond crystals, which will help India to become the world leader in lab-grown diamonds.
The Core faculty from Physics, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments of IIT Madras also have a good number of core researchers with expertise in various requirements listed above The upcoming centre will also recruit a good number of additional man-power to run the research on LGD that would be established at the IIT Madras Research Park and IIT Madras laboratories.
India has no know-how in high pressure high temperature (HPHT) technology to grow and treat diamond crystals. The cost involved in importing HPHT machines is very high. Therefore, there is a need for developing indigenously built HPHT equipment and establishing the process know-how of HPHT diamond growth. On the other hand, CVD reactor manufacturers in India import critical components like microwave generators, vacuum pumps, and sensors. Even good-quality diamond seeds are imported.
There is a need for indigenously developing these critical components, technologies and seed substrates (mother-seed) to make India self-sustainable in the lab-grown diamond sector. This is the requirement that the IIT Madras Research Group headed out to tackle.



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