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Nano-level precision reaching the diamond standard

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Article - June 28, 2023

When it comes to the processing of diamond powders for polishing, grinding and cutting, Tomei Diamond Corporation sets the standards on which clients in the automotive, construction and semiconductor industries depend.

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Since pioneering the production of artificial diamonds for industrial use in 1961, Tomei Diamond Corporation (TDC) has excelled in the processing of diamonds for polishing, grinding and cutting. The company’s ultra-precision materials are indispensable to manufacturers in the semiconductor, automotive and construction industries, who highly value TDC’s ability to provide material of consistent quality and shape that ensures precision down to the nanometer and micron level.

Over the years, TDC has developed a variety of materials, including PCD for non-ferrous metal cutting tools, cBN powder for grinding abrasives for ferrous metals, PcBN for cutting tools for ferrous metals, and boron-doped CVD diamonds for use as an electrode material.

“We have focused on the research and development of industrial synthetic diamonds, especially micron and nanodiamond powders, and have built up a reputable position in the precision field,” states TDC representative director Hiromi Ishizuka. “Another strength we have is that we have our own unique development and improvement capabilities. Our diamond powders have sharp edges, or as we call them angular acute edges, which makes them serve multiple high-end purposes. Our production may take longer compared to other companies, but we ensure that the shape and size is the most appropriate for diamond powders.”

In the case of the semiconductor industry, applications for diamond powders include tools used for grinding ingot periphery, diamond wire saws, wafer-edge chamfering, back grinding and dicing. In the case of SiC (silicon carbide) semiconductors, diamond powder is sometimes used for wafer polishing itself, so it is expected that the use of diamond powder will further increase in the SiC era.



“Our main target is semiconductors since this industry has a limited number of players. We have been collaborating with many of the major Japanese players in this industry,” adds Ms. Ishizuka. “From this point, we also aim to expand and collaborate with overseas companies. Our products are used for cutting silicon material, but we are now focusing on the next generation of semiconductor material, silicon carbide, to which we are providing a new type of solution for cutting, grinding and polishing.”

Indeed partnership and collaboration will be key to TDC’s success, with the company working with peers as well as customers to enhance product development. As each customer has different toolmaking know-how, TDC works in partnership to provide abrasive grains tailored to the customer's specific products, and through trial and error, products with superior performance are developed as a result.

Regarding application research in the field of ultra-high pressure, TDC is looking for partners who want to use its ultra-high pressure facilities for research and development. “We do this because the development of new products in the field of ultra-high pressure means that we can expand the market in which we can operate,” Ms. Ishizuka explains. “We receive various inquiries from public and private research institutes and private companies, and provide total support until the development is realized and the product is commercialized.”

With 90% of its sales coming from the domestic market, TDC aims to grow its presence globally, with the company establishing an office in Georgetown, Kentucky in 2022 to support its expansion in the U.S. semiconductor market.

“When we did a global search, we discovered that the U.S. has the most flourishing semiconductor industry. Considering that the national government is leading the advancement in the semiconductor industry, we decided to have our base in the U.S.,” the TDC director reveals. “We feel the importance of the international market, and we are aware that we should focus more on growing our overseas bases and have a bigger international sales ratio.”

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