Feb. 14, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Diamonds may no longer be just a girl's best friend. Sixty years after
'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
, who runs Raytheon's diamond laboratory in
"They have a practical use. You can see farther, you can get more power."
Raytheon's "diamond mine" lies deep inside the Integrated Air Defense Center, the sprawling factory 20 miles northwest of
that produces some of Raytheon's best-known products, including the Patriot air and missile defense system and the AN/TPY-2 radar. Click here for a look inside:
The diamond lab is famous among workers at the plant, especially around
As Raytheon's diamond operation attracts more attention, Korenstein said he's gotten used to the co-workers who jokingly request earrings or a ring.
"I have people try to put in orders with me," Korenstein said. "But we're not in the jewelry business."
Read the full version of this story and see photos of the diamond lab here:
SOURCE Raytheon Company