Diamonds may no longer be just a girl’s best friend. Sixty years after Marilyn Monroe’s musical ode to them, the military is showing interest in the synthetic version of these classic gems.
Sheets of laboratory-grown diamond, combined with the semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN), could someday become the core of future-generation radar, communications and electronic warfare systems. Such components could save huge amounts of electricity, space and fuel.
“Diamonds aren’t just pretty,” said Ralph Korenstein, who runs Raytheon’s diamond laboratory in Andover, Mass. “They have a practical use. You can see farther, you can get more power.”