Diamond, Diamond-like and CBN Films & Coating Products

Published - Jul 2007| Analyst - Andrew McWilliams| Code - AVM025F
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Report Highlights

  • BCC estimates the world market for diamond, diamond-like, and CBN films at $530.8 million in 2007 and slightly over $1.0 billion by 2012, a CAGR of 14.3% between 2007 and 2012.
  • BCC expects market shares of the three largest segments (razor blades, tools and wear resistant parts, and print/record heads and hard disks) should drop from almost 75% in 2006 to under 70% in 2012. Segments that should gain significantly in market share by 2012 include audio speakers and medical devices.
  • Overall, consumption of diamond-like and CBN coatings was an estimated $330 million, or nearly 70%, of the combined diamond and diamond-like film market in 2006. However, by 2012, based solely on the changing mix of applications, the balance is expected to shift towards diamond films, which should capture about 55% of the market.


Diamonds have long held a special place in the hearts and minds of both scientists and the public at large. Diamonds are the hardest material known and have the highest thermal conductivity among all known materials. Combined with these important properties, diamonds have very low thermal expansion and high electrical resistance. Because of their hardness, diamonds are far more effective and efficient than other competing materials used for abrasion, cutting, shaping, or finishing tools. The very high thermal conductivity of diamonds makes them ideal for spreading and conducting heat out of compact, high-power, high-speed electronic packages.

Industrial diamonds have been synthesized commercially for over 40 years using high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) techniques in which diamond is crystallized from metal-solvated carbon at a pressure of about 50 kbar to 100 kbar and a temperature of about 1,800 K to 2,300 K.

A low-pressure technique to produce diamonds, using chemical vapor deposition (CVD), drew worldwide attention in the mid-1980s. There has been an explosion of interest in CVD diamond, diamond-like, and cubic boron nitride (CBN) films and coatings. These films are expected to be used in a variety of applications, from cutting tools to wear-resistant parts and from electronics to optical applications. One advantage of CVD diamond technology over high-pressure technology is low cost and its ability to coat any shape.

Several new mass-production technologies for producing diamonds and diamond-like films have emerged since the mid-1990s, including the production of diamond-like coatings for razor blades. Since the advent of these new technologies, diamond and diamond-like films, and coated products have reached a greater level of penetration in their applications.

Thick and thin diamond films have advantages when incorporated in laser diodes and microwave electronic packages due to their extremely high thermal conductivity coupled with excellent dielectric properties. Also, large substrates are now available, and a variety of package designs are possible with CVD diamonds. Tool inserts with CVD diamond thick-film blanks or thin-film coatings constitute the newest tool materials. Diamond-like thin films are finding increasing application in coating automotive components such as brake rotors and gears. Diamond and diamond-like coatings are also being used more in optical applications, such as sunglasses, ophthalmic lenses, and infrared (IR) windows. New-generation electronic devices such as surface acoustic wave (SAW) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are also using diamond films.


This report:


  • Provides a technological overview of the various diamond, diamond-like, and CBN thin films and coated products, their production technologies, and status of the current and emerging technologies
  • Identifies and describes existing and new applications
  • Identifies the technological and business issues related to development and commercial production
  • Determines the current size and future growth of the U.S. and worldwide markets
  • Analyzes domestic and foreign competition among companies and their product market segments
  • Identifies and profiles U.S. and foreign producers and those entities involved in the development of diamond, diamond-like, and CBN films and products
  • Conducts a patent analysis to evaluate the international competition in the issuance of patents between countries and companies.



This report is a combined update of two earlier (2002) reports. In preparing the original and updated reports, BCC interviewed producers, potential producers, suppliers, and end-users of diamond, diamond-like, and CBN thin film materials. The interview results were supplemented with secondary data obtained from sources such as the Industrial Diamond Association of America, trade publications, technical journals, conference proceedings, newsletters, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Database


This report is an update of two earlier reports published in 2002. The analyst responsible for updating the report is Andrew McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm, 43rd Parallel, LLC. Mr. McWilliams is the author of numerous other BCC studies, including studies in related fields such as NAN015E Advanced Ceramics and Nanoceramic Powders, NAN040A Nanomaterials Markets by Type, and AVM002C Synthetic Gems and Minerals.

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Published - Aug-2002| Analyst - Thomas Abraham| Code - AVM025E

Report Highlights

  • The U.S. caught up to and surpassed Japan and Russia in the 1990s and enjoys a dominant position in diamond and diamond-like thin film technologies and markets.
  • In the last seven years, new and/or improved technologies for depositing diamond and diamond-like thin films have emerged that have much higher deposition rates than conventional PVD and CVD techniques.
  • According to the companion BCC study GB-173U, the 2001 U.S. market for diamond and diamond-like film was $150 million.
  • The growth rate for the diamond-like film market is expected to exceed the diamond film market in the next five years.

Published - Oct-2002| Analyst - Thomas Abraham| Code - AVM025D

Report Highlights

  • The global market for diamond, diamond-like and CBN films and coated products in 2001 was estimated to be $284 million. This is expected to increase to $725 million by 2006, at an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 20.6%.
  • The North American market estimated at $125 million in 2001, and is expected to rise at an AAGR of 18.3% to $290 million in 2006.
  • Currently, the markets are dominated by consumer applications, such as DLC-coated shaving blades, followed by wear-resistant coatings, tool inserts and thermal -management substrates.
  • Of the 2001 market in North America, about three-fourths was for diamond-like thin-film products.
  • In competition with Japan and, to a lesser extent Russia, the U.S. has not only caught up in R&D, but now has surged ahead in commercialization efforts.


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