Ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) coating technology for advanced multifunctional devices

Award Year 

The Ultrananocrystalline Diamond™ (UNCD™) coating technology, invented and developed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), captures many natural diamond properties in thin-film form and greatly surpasses other diamond film technologies with commercial potential. UNCDTM films can be used in a broad and di-verse range of applications from macro to nanodevices, such as energy-saving ultra-low friction and wear coatings for mechanical pump seals and tools, high-performance microelec-tromechanical and nanoelectromechanical sys-tem (MEMS/NEMS)-based telecommunication devices, (more) the next generation of high-definition flat panel displays, in-vivo biomedical implants, and biosensors. Despite ANL’s many interac-tions with industry, the nature and maturity of the technology made it unsuitable for licensing directly to established companies. Instead, the novel UNCDTM thin-film technology was suc-cessfully transferred to an ANL-founded startup company, Advanced Diamond Technologies, Inc. ( The nominees worked closely with ANL’s Office of Technology Transfer, as well as officials from the University of Chicago and the U.S. Depart-ment of Energy (DOE), in founding ADT. The pioneering technology transfer process es-tablished by the nominees has been used to create three other ANL startup companies in the past year, and it is being considered as a new model for transferring energy-related and other technologies from DOE laboratories to the private sector. (less)