Color induction in nitrogen-contaminated diamonds was carried out via various procedures that involve irradiation, thermal treatments (annealing), and more. These treatments affect vacancy defect production and atom orientation centers in the diamond lattice. Natural diamonds underwent color enhancement treatments in order to produce green, blue, and yellow fancy diamonds. The aim of this study was to follow the changes occurring during the treatment, mainly by EPR spectroscopy, which is the main source for the determination of the effect of paramagnetic centers (carbon-centered radicals) on the color centers produced via the treatments, but also via visual assessment, fluorescence, UV-vis, and FTIR spectroscopy. The results indicate that diamonds containing high levels of nitrogen contamination are associated with high carbon-centered radical concentrations. Four paramagnetic center structures (N1, N4, and P2/W21) were generated by the treatment. It is suggested that the N4 structure correlates with the formation of blue color centers, whereas yellow color centers are attributed to the presence of N1 species. While to produce blue and yellow colors, a thermal treatment is needed after irradiation, for treated green diamonds, no thermal treatment is needed (only irradiation).
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- carbon centered paramagnetic center
- color enhancement treatments
- electron irradiation
- fancy diamond
- nitrogen structure
- thermal treatment