FORCARBON is investigating three areas of interest: I. Coatings from diamond and diamond-like carbon Crystalline diamond layers to protect against wear on very highly stressed structural steel members could significantly improve function and service life. It has not previously been possible to coat steel with diamond because the two materials do not bond together. FORCARBON intends to solve this problem with intermediate layers that improve adhesion. High quality diamond detectors, used primarily for medical radiation measurements, consist nowadays in natural single crystals. These are very rare in the necessary size and purity, and are correspondingly expensive. FORCARBON intends to grow the world's largest diamond crystals industrially. II. Carbon-based composite materials FORCABON is developing composite materials based on carbon having unique properties for many applications. These materials are very light and extraordinarily resistant to temperature and corrosion, therefore making them suitable as a base material for brake discs or high-performance pumps. The market for composite materials is growing rapidly, as the industry incurs high losses annually due to friction and wear. III. Special carbon morphologies In addition to carbon's familiar allotropes, such as diamond and graphite, new types of structure such as aerogels and nanotubes have recently been developed. They are characterised by an extraordinarily large internal surface, and are valuable as catalyst carriers, for exhaust fume cleaning or heat insulation in high temperature applications. Nanotubes, furthermore, can also be formed into small, stable printed conductors with low resistance, functioning almost like an electron helter-skelter, and are therefore suitable as components for the nanocomputers of the future. FORCARBON is researching the principles required for scaling up the production and further processing of these new types of carbon.