Scientists at Stanford University have found a way of creating artificial diamonds out of graphite without applying external pressure (Photo: Fabricio Sousa/SLAC)
Diamond and graphite are both allotropes of carbon; their vastly different properties come down to the way the carbon atoms are arranged (Image: Materialscientist, used under CC 3.0 by-sa)
The hydrogen atoms bind with graphite and start a chain reaction that creates a diamond-like film (Image: Sarp Kaya and Frank Abild-Pedersen/SUNCAT)
Pressure makes diamonds, but according to recent findings, there may also be a much quicker, hassle-free way. A team of researchers at Stanford University has stumbled upon a new way of turning graphite (the material used for pencil leads) into a diamond-like carbon structure simply by applying hydrogen over a platinum substrate, without the need to apply external pressure of any kind. The discovery could lead to easier and more flexible manufacturing of diamonds used in cutting tools and other industrial devices.
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