What does Diamond do?


Medicine, car care... better ice-cream, explore the science behind industry.

Science behind industry at Diamond.


Synchrotron Services for Industrial Scientists

Diamond has an Industrial Liaison Office. It's a group of specialist scientists with a diverse range of expertise, all dedicated to supporting scientists and researchers from a variety of industries access the facilities here at Diamond. The team has an assorted range of backgrounds and each member is a specialist in a different technique. They are therefore able to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to solving research and development problems.

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Even Better Ice Cream
Nobody will disagree: ice-cream is delicious! And researchers at Unilever are looking at ways of making it even better. The quality of ice cream depends on ice crystals and air cells inside the mixture – the smaller they are, the better the ice cream. So scientists are using Diamond to study ice cream microstructure over varying temperature cycles in order to develop improved formulations and manufacturing processes. Good news for those of us with a sweet tooth.

Marvellous Medicine
A group of human proteins known as ‘G-protein coupled receptors’ (GPCRs) plays an important role in various diseases including diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, cancer, neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease, headaches and psychiatric disorders. This makes them excellent drug targets. However, they’re not always easy to study. Scientists from clinical-stage company, Heptares Therapeutics, are using Diamond to learn more about these receptors and how we can use them to design better, more effective medicines.



Plane Sailing

Thanks to the ingenuity of engineers and scientists, we’re now able to fly anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. A lot of research goes into creating aircraft that deliver us there safely and efficiently. Using Diamond, scientists from Rolls- Royce have studied the impact of a strengthening surface treatment applied to aeroplane fan blades. Exploring the microstructural impact of stress on the fan blade gives us vital information to inform future aircraft design.
Nuclear Decommissioning
Nuclear energy plays a vital role in the UK’s energy mix, and is particularly important as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. However, nuclear fission creates waste that needs to be carefully managed. Scientists from universities up and down the country are using Diamond to investigate safe and innovative ways to manage waste disposal – vital work for our country and our planet.

Reactive Research
Catalysts speed up reactions, and they’re integral to modern industry. Catalysts help our cars to run and support the process that transforms crude oil into fuel. If we can make catalysts more effective, we could make a lot of processes more energy efficient. German chemical company, BASF, are using Diamond to study the reactions that take place inside catalysts with a view to learning more about how they work and how they could be improved.
Cold Car Care
In the depths of winter, diesel car drivers often encounter a particularly nasty problem: ‘frozen’ fuel. This can cause serious faults and has led to many a driver becoming stranded. But Infineum is on the case. Scientists from the petroleum additive company are using Diamond’s X-rays to explore the processes by which fuel crystallises, work that could ultimately help us better care for our cars, even in the coldest months.

Read more about cutting edge research in Diamond's popular science magazine:

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