In nature, diamonds are formed from carbon at great depths under the influence of tremendous pressures and temperatures. To obtain artificial diamonds, complex bulky equipment is required that simulates natural processes in laboratory conditions.
However, researchers at the University of North Carolina (NCSU) have succeeded in developing a revolutionary technology for converting carbon nanofibers and nanotubes into diamonds.
The whole process is carried out at room temperature and normal pressure. First, the carbon fibers are exposed to a 100 nanosecond laser pulse. As a result, carbon instantly heats up to a temperature of about 3730 degrees and begins to melt.
Usually at this temperature, carbon evaporates. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to use a sapphire, glass or plastic substrate, which will “take” part of the temperature onto itself. Then the material quickly cools and crystallizes, that is, turns into diamond.
This process can create diamond particles that can be used in electronics and even quantum computers.
Carbon nanotubes (left) and new diamonds (right)