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Dr Soumen Mandal PhD

Dr Soumen Mandal


Research Associate
Condensed Matter and Photonics Group

School of Physics and Astronomy

+44 (0)29 2082 0197
N/0.05, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA


I am a Post-Doctoral Research Associate working in School of Physics and Astronomy at Cardiff University, U.K. in the group of Prof. Oliver Williams. My current research interest is the study of diamond as a material for device applications. I am mostly interested in using nanocrystalline diamond grown on silicon and other wafers for these applications. Nanocrystalline diamond, even though slightly inferior to single crystal diamond, offers large area, easy scalability of the devices and cost effectiveness. One of the major drawback of the artificially grown nanodiamond film is its surface roughness. We have overcome this problem by developing a polishing technique capable of producing sub-nanometer surface roughness. Over the years Cardiff Diamond Foundry has published a few papers on polishing of thin film diamond. At Cardiff Diamond Foundry we have also designed a NIRIM type low cost CVD reactor for diamond growth. The full design of this reactor can be found on this wikiversity page.

Below I list some of the major acievements and industrial enegagements


Boron doped diamond SQUID, First SQUID made from boron doped diamond. This was also the first SQUID that could operate at very high magnetic field (~4T).

Superconducting diamond cantilever, Developed first cantilever from superconducting diamond. With an fQ factor 1011, the BDD micro mechanical system demonstrated a state-of-the-art performance for such devices. It was also the first monolithic superconducting MEMS 

Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) of diamond thin films, A process for polishing thin diamond films which cannot be polished by traditional techniques like mechanical polishing. With this technique surface roughnesses below 2nm RMS have been  achieved.

Chemical nucleation of diamond, A cleanroom compatible seeding technique for diamond growth using chemical precursors. 

Growth of thick diamond layer on AlN,  The growth of thick diamond layer on AlN paves the way for integration of diamond heat sink layer on GaN high power devices. 

Industrial Engagements 

Evince Technology Limited, UK – 2014 – till date, Development of low cost diamond reactor and process for growing semiconducting boron doped diamond on single crystal substrates. Chemical Mechanical polishing of diamonds for electronic device applications.

Qioptiq, UK – 2016 – 2018, Development for high growth rate thick diamond films for optical applications.

Precision Ceramics, UK – 2017 – 2018, Growth of diamond layer on Boron Nitride composite.

W & L Coating Systems GmbH, Germany - 2020, Characterisation of diamond solutions for diamond growth.


  • Research Associate: Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, Apr' 13 - till date
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Institut Neel, Grenoble, France, Nov'08 - Jun'12
  • PhD Student: IIT Kanpur, Kanpur, India, Jul'03 - Mar'09 (Submission Sep'08, Defended Mar'09)

Honours and awards

  • Diamond and Carbon materials 2018 Early Career Research Award (2018)