Effect of diamond polishing and thermal treatment on carbon paramagnetic centers’ nature and structure

Ira Litvak, Avner Cahana, Yaakov Anker, Sharon Ruthstein, Haim Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diamonds contain carbon paramagnetic centers (stable carbon radicals) in small concentrations (at the level of ~1 × 1012 spins/mg) that can help in elucidating the structure of the nitrogen atoms’ contaminants in the diamond crystal. All diamonds that undergo polishing are exposed to high temperatures, owing to the friction force during the polishing process, which may affect the carbon-centered radicals’ concentration and structure. The temperature is increased appreciably; consequently, the black body radiation in the visible range turns orange. During polishing, diamonds emit an orange light (at a wavelength of about 600 nm) that is typical of a black body temperature of 900 C or higher. Other processes in which color-enhanced diamonds are exposed to high temperatures are thermal treatments or the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) process in which the brown color (resulting from plastic deformation) is bleached. The aim of the study was to examine how thermal treatment and polishing influence the paramagnetic centers in the diamond. For this purpose, four rough diamonds were studied: two underwent a polishing process, and the other two were thermally treated at 650 C and 1000 C. The diamonds were analyzed pre-and post-treatment by EPR (Electron Paramagnetic resonance), FTIR (Fourier transform infrared, fluorescence, and their visual appearance. The results indicate that the polishing process results in much more than just thermal heating the paramagnetic centers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7719
Issue number24
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2021


  • Diamond treatments
  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Paramagnetic centers


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