Quantitative Optical Measurements on Diamond

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Physics


This project is focussed on developing improved methodologies for the characterisation of the optical properties of diamond and applying state of the art measurements to the characterisation of both natural and synthetic diamond. Key research goals are:

1. Quantitative optical absorption measurements. These always seem more challenging than they should and this makes predicting colour for polished samples very difficult.
2. Measuring scattering and the impact it has on optical transmission at different wavelengths.
3. Improved birefringence measurements, modelling the origin of birefringence and determining how this property varies with viewing direction and the nature of the defects.

Measurements of optical birefringence in transparent optically anisotropic materials offer extremely high sensitivity for observing minute levels of strain. In diamond strain is intimately related to the presence of defects and impurities and gives rise to birefringence which can limit many optical applications of diamond. This project will revisit the Metripol system (invented by A.M. Glazer) which offers a sensitivity towards changes in birefringence of about 1 part in 10^7, develop an improved system and use this to characterise birefringence in diamond. A priority will be to relate the observed birefringence to the nature and distribution of defects in the material. Measurements of optical absorption and scattering will be linked to the birefringence studies to produce a better understanding of how defects limit the optical properties of diamond and in turn this will direct on-going research to improve the optical properties and further exploit diamond in optical and photonic applications.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R512229/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2021
1946674 Studentship EP/R512229/1 02/10/2017 30/09/2021 Jennifer Claire Orme