Achieve high uniform tensile elasticity in microfabricated diamond

Stretch the diamond to the limit

Diamond is considered non-pliable, but thin specimens can in fact deform elastically. Applying relatively large amounts of deformation to diamond can alter its electronic properties, which is of interest for a number of applications. Dang et al. micrometer sized diamond plates elastically stretched along different crystallographic directions. These relatively large samples show that deep strain engineering can be performed in more uniform diamond samples and can have a large impact on electronic properties.

Science, this issue p. 76


Diamond is not only the hardest material in nature, but it is also an extreme electronic material with an ultra-wide bandgap, exceptional carrier mobilities and thermal conductivity. The tension diamond can push extreme figures of merit for device applications. We microfabricated single crystal diamond bridge structures with ~ 1 micrometer in length by ~ 100 nanometer in width and obtained uniform elastic strains on the sample scale under uniaxial tensile load along the [100], [101], and [111] directions at room temperature. We have also demonstrated a deep elastic deformation of diamond micro-bridge networks. Ultra-large and highly controllable elastic strains can fundamentally alter the loose band structures of diamond, including a substantial calculated band gap reduction down to ~ 2 electron volts. Our demonstration highlights the immense application potential of deep elastic strain engineering for photonics, electronics and quantum information technologies.