While natural diamonds have been formed over billions of years buried deep in the earth, where extreme heat and pressure condition the carbonization of carbon, scientists are looking to create the rocks. This precious in much shorter time.
An international team of researchers has successfully reduced this process to just a few minutes. Moreover, the process of creating this diamond can also take place at room temperature.
In fact, even though the world already produces artificial diamonds, this process often requires very high pressures and temperatures up to over 1,000.oC. There are also other techniques such as turning fossil fuel molecules into pure diamonds, or using super fast lasers to convert carbon nanofibers into diamonds.
Meanwhile, this breakthrough in the production of artificial diamonds was made by scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) and RMIT University. They use a diamond cell anvil, which is often used to apply the extreme pressures needed for super-hard materials. With this anvil, the team applied the equivalent of 640 African elephants pressure to the toe of the ballet shoe, creating an unexpected reaction between the carbon atoms in the device.
“The bottom line here is how we use this pressure“Professor Jodie Bradly of the ANU said.”In addition to the high pressure, we also let the carbon pad go through what is known as “distorted” – like torsion or shear. We think that this allows the carbon atom to slide out of its place and form Lonsdaleite and regular diamonds.. ”
Diamond cell anvil on researcher’s hand
Conventional strong diamonds are common stones in jewelery, while Lonsdaleite diamonds are much rarer and usually only found in meteor collisions. Using an advanced electron microscope, the team was able to examine the specimen in detail and find that new materials were formed in bands they likened to diamond “rivers”.
“Our photographs show that ordinary diamonds are formed only in the middle of these Lonsdaleite veins by a new method developed by our inter-institute team.“RMIT professor Dougal McCulloch said.”Seeing these ordinary Lonsdaleite rivers and diamonds for the first time was exciting and really helped us understand how they came to be.. ”
“Diamond river” under the observation of the electron microscope
The team hopes that the technique will allow them to produce a significant amount of artificial diamonds, especially the super rare Lonsdaleite diamond, with a predicted 58% higher hardness than needles. Conventional erection.
The success of these research projects, while appealing to jewelry makers, is not their primary goal. Artificial diamonds with extreme hardness can be used as industrial cutting tools, or as wear protection coatings for other industrial equipment.
Refer to the News Atlas