Synthetic diamond is regarded as a promising material for biosensors: it forms a stable platform for genetic assays and its biocompatibility opens the possibility for in vivo sensing. In this study the use of a thymidine linker for covalent DNA attachment was evaluated. Contact angle measurements provided a qualitative test of the initially oxidized surface. X-ray photoemission spectroscopy was used for further analysis of the oxides and for monitoring the effect of subsequent chemical treatments. The presence of FITC-labelled DNA was confirmed by confocal fluorescence microscopy. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays indicated that this DNA was merely adsorbed on the diamond surface instead of covalently bound.