Scientific Program
  Important Dates
  Location and date
  Social Program
  Registration Fee


Modern technology is definitely on its way from the world of micrometer sizes to that of nanometers, and the words "nanoworld" and "nanoscience" have become an integral part of scientific terminology in the past two decades. Many international meetings are now using in their titles the word nanotechnology covering nanoelectronics, nanobiotechnologies and the technology of nanosize materials. Among the latter, nanocarbon clusters - fullerenes, nanotubes and onion-like carbons discovered at the end of the 20th century - are becoming increasingly important.

The family of carbon nanostructures also includes diamond particles and their structural assemblies such as loosely bound particle agglomerates, particles incorporated into carbon-based or other material matrices and pure-phase diamond films. The most interesting and technologically important properties appear when the characteristic size of the basic diamond constituents encompass the range of just a few nanometers, that is why they are called ultrananocrystalline diamond to distinguish them from other diamond-based nanostructures with characteristic sizes above ~10nm.

The major topics of the workshop will be UltraNanoCrystalline Diamond (UNCD) particles produced by detonation of carbon explosive materials (characteristic size ~5 nm) developed in the former USSR in the 60-s and pure-phase UNCD films produced by chemical vapor deposition (characteristic size of grains 2-5 nm) recently developed in the USA by Dr. Gruen and colleagues in the Argon National Laboratory. Other means of formation of UNCD structures will be also briefly addressed.

Both UNCD particles and UNCD films possess unique properties and different niche applications. UNCD particles produced by detonation synthesis represent new building blocks suitable for making nanocomposites and parts for molecular electronics. Besides, they can serve as a source material, for the production of selective adsorbents, as well as for medical and biological applications. Colloidal solutions of UNCD particles are suitable objects for the investigation of physical and chemical properties of dispersions with minimal size particles in solution. The use of UNCD particles considerably improves the properties of microabrasive and polishing materials, lubricating oils, abrasive tools, polymer composites, rubbers, and information-recording media. In addition, UNCD particles can be used for growing nanocrystalline diamond films on various substrates, for making arrays of quantum dots of silicon and as a material for creation of a new generation of cold emission cathodes for vacuum electronics. This is especially important for the creation of effective pulse devices in power beam electronics and large-scale information displays.

Thus, it is clearly seen that UNCD particles have many useful applications in electronics, new materials fabrication, industrial and machine application.

UNCD films are superior in many ways to traditional micro- and nanocrystalline diamond films: they are smooth, dense, pinhole free, and phase-pure, and can be conformally coated on a wide variety of materials and high-aspect-ratio structures. The set of unique properties include mechanical, tribological (extremely low friction ~0.01), transport (tunable electrical conductivity, high thermal conductivity), electrochemical (wide working potential window), and electron emission (low, stable threshold voltage). The UNCD films has been considered for a variety of applications including MEMS and moving mechanical assembly devices, surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices, electrochemical sensors, coatings for field emission arrays, photonic and RF switching, and neural prostheses.

Recent achievements in n-type doping demonstrate the highest carrier concentrations seen for any n-type diamond material to date resulting in several orders of magnitude increase in UNCD films conductivity that promise applications in heterojunction electronic devices. Applications of UNCD films as biocompatible MEMS devices, biosensors and biological electrodes are being also explored. A special program on UNCD films-based artificial retina to restore sight to people blinded by the retinitis picmentosa condition is under development. Functionalization of UNCD films to attach DNA molecules had been also demonstrated.

Examples above demonstrate that UNCD-based materials will significantly improve the technical parameters of future electronic devices and composite materials and help Humankind in the solution of tasks related with saving of natural resources and prolongation of machine service life.

The items mentioned above are related with UNCD artificially synthesised in research laboratories and manufacturing plants. In addition, Nanodiamonds and Nanodiamond-derived substances were found during the last decade in the Cosmos. The origin of such clusters in the Cosmos is very interesting from the viewpoint of evolution of the Universe and stars. Nanodiamonds and carbon onions, which exist in interstellar dust, determine the optical properties and absorption of interstellar space. That is why these studies are very important for Astronomy too. A lecture, addressing UNCD in the Cosmos is suggested as part of the workshop program.

While discovered several decades ago, UNCD particles became an object of a keen interest only within the last few years within the advancements in the field of nanotechnology. There has been active interest in the production technologies, purification methods, physico-chemical properties, and applications. The First International Symposium on Nanodiamonds took place in July of 2003 in St.Petersburg and collected about 100 researchers from all over the world but mainly from Russia and CIS countries, who pioneered the study of physical and chemical properties of nanodiamond clusters and worked out commercial technologies for their production and purification. Thus we believe that the proposed workshop will help the NATO scientific community learn more on this unique material.

One day of the workshop will be devoted to fundamental questions on the relative stability and interrelations of nanocarbon species that is important for both synthesis as well as application of nanocarbon structures and devices under different conditions.

The main purpose of the proposed NATO Workshop "Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond" is to provide a forum for the intensive exchange of opinions between scientists from Russia and NATO countries in order to give additional impetus for the development of this field of nanocarbon science and applications.

The Workshop will be held in St Petersburg, Russia at the House of Scientists.

Ioffe Physical Technical Institute headed by Nobel Price Winner Prof. Zh.Alferov is the host organization for the Workshop

The Symposium organizers will arrange for a sightseeing program to introduce the guests to St Petersburg. The Symposium will be held in the period of bright nights, when the city looks especially beautiful.