Characteristics of nitrogen and other impurities in diamond, as revealed by infrared absorption data

Felix V. Kaminsky*, Galina K. Khachatryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Diamond crystals from Siberian, Arkhangelsk, South African, Canadian and South American deposits were analyzed for structurally bound nitrogen, hydrogen and platelet defects using infrared (IR) absorption spectroscopy. Wide variations in total nitrogen and hydrogen contents and in the state of nitrogen aggregation were established in diamond crystals from different areas and deposits. On this basis, three groups were distinguished: (1) low-nitrogen, highly-aggregated-nitrogen diamond, (2) intermediate diamond crystals, and (3) high-nitrogen, poorly-aggregated-nitrogen diamond (occasionally with high concentrations of hydrogen and platelets). They represent, in general terms, three major stages of diamond formation: (1) the initial stage at high P-T conditions, which occasionally occurs in super-deep areas (e.g., lower mantle and transition zone), (2) the main stage, and (3) the final stage, which represents the latest episodes of magmatic evolution and is characterized by high oversaturation of the crystallization medium and high internal temperature-gradients. These data may be used for fingerprinting of diamond, in prospecting for new deposits in diamondiferous areas, and in the evaluation of diamond crystals from newly discovered deposits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1733-1745
Number of pages13
JournalCanadian Mineralogist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Diamond
  • Hydrogen
  • Infrared absorption
  • Nitrogen


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