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Show and Tell: dreaming of shiny diamond    Apr 04, 2019

Show and Tell: dreaming of shiny diamond
Apr 04, 2019





Welcome to show and tell. Today we sit together with Ph.D. student Rozita Rouzbahani, who investigates how we can grow artificial diamonds for electrical devices. Rozita shows us her favorite spot on campus and tells us all about her research, dreams, ambitions, and passions…


Q: “Why did you choose this location?

A: “This is a Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) reactor which is used to grow single crystal diamond. We call it the STS (Surface Treatment System). I have spent a lot of time next to this reactor to optimize it and grow diamond with it. This is the main equipment of my Ph.D. project. It is completely home-made and a bit old, but I love it. He is my boy ;-)."

Q: “How would you explain your research to a five-year-old?

A: “You know that we use diamond in jewelry, and you know how hard it is to find underground? Here, in our labs, we try to mimic the conditions we have in nature to grow diamonds ourselves. However, the goal of this work is to use this material for other purposes than just jewelry, like electrical devices.

Q: “What is the status of your research?

A: “I am a Ph.D. student in the physics department at the Institute for Material Research (IMO) in the Wide Bandgap Materials group. During my Ph.D., I am trying to fabricate a Schottky barrier diode based on diamond. Diamond has a number of outstanding properties including that it is the hardest of materials and has the highest thermal conductivity. Thanks to these superlative properties, it has recently been introduced in the fabrication of high power high electronic applications. In my Ph.D. project, we aim to develop these properties by doping (introducing impurities on purpose) during the CVD diamond growth.


Q: “Why this research?

A: “Since I worked on the diodes during my master thesis, this topic seemed quite interesting and a logical choice to me. In addition to this, diamond has the potential to revolutionize the field of high power, high frequency electronic devices. The success of diamond electronics depends on controlling the growth process of doped diamond. As a matter of equipment, IMO is one of the best places in Europe to grow diamond as it has several different types of CVD reactors. So, all these aspects combined with the opportunity to gain a lot of experience during my Ph.D., encouraged me to choose this research topic. By the way, growing such an expensive and beautiful material in the labs always looks cool.”

Q: “If you wouldn’t be working at UHasselt, where would you be now?

A: “When I started my master, I already knew that I wanted to continue my education and get my Ph.D. degree. At that stage in my life, finding an interesting topic for my Ph.D. project was my main goal. Since there are so many places and projects all over the world to choose from, I would probably be doing my PhD in another university with a topic as attractive as my current one.


Q: “What did you want to become growing up?

A: “When I was little, my dad used to say to me: ‘Keep your head up princess, otherwise your crown falls’. This gave me the dream to become someone who has great confidence in their life. Hopefully, completing my Ph.D. will help me a lot to achieve this goal.

Q: “What are your professional ambitions?

A: “My professional goal is to contribute to the diamond community by improving the way we grow diamond in the lab. Yet, to achieve this and increase our knowledge of diamond growth we still have to overcome a lot of obstacles."

Q: “One final question, what is a book/movie/concert that you would recommend to colleagues?

A: “I would like to introduce you to a novel from Elif Shafak called ‘The Forty rules of love’. The book is about the thirteenth-century poet Rumi and his beloved Sufi teacher Shams of Tabriz. At the center of the novel, you will find the remarkable, wandering, whirling dervish Shams of Tabriz, a mystic provocateur who challenges conventional wisdom and social and religious prejudice wherever he encounters it. It is not an easy story that Elif Shafak tells, nor an entirely happy one. Living an authentic life comes at a certain price, she says. But, as the novel shows, the costs of not living one are far greater.