This research, which is supported by the Analytical and Surface Chemistry Program, is focused on developing a more fundamental understanding of the structure-reactivity relationships at diamond electrode interfaces. The research, being conducted by Professor Greg M. Swain and his group in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Utah State University, will also result in extending the potential applications of conductive diamond film electrode materials. Previously, conductive diamond thin films have been shown to meet several requirements that are needed for electrode materials that are used as sensors in severe service environments. Such requirements include chemical inertness, corrosion resistance, stability and reactivity. The current research will increase the understanding of structure-reactivity of conductive microcrystalline, nanocrystalline, and single crystal diamond. Much of the effort will concentrate on synthesis and structural characterization of thin film conductive diamond electrodes. This will likely lead to significant improvement in the electrochemical detection of analytes such as metal ions, hydrazine derivatives, alkanolamine, and organic sulfur compounds.
This research will lead to a better understanding of diamond electrodes. The capability to use these electrodes to detect metals and organic species in severe (e.g. highly corrosive) service environments will be improved. This in turn has the potential to reduce environmental pollution.