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Synthetic, ultra-hard diamond made at room temperature

Researchers rely only on high pressure, not high temperatures, to produce synthetic diamond.

The team behind the achievement is researchers from the Australian National University (ANU) and RMIT University. The findings were published in the research publication Small earlier this month.

According to the ANU editors who profiled the achievement, two types of diamonds were made: the type found on an engagement ring, and another type of diamond called Lonsdaleite, which occurs in nature at the site of meteorite impacts such as Canyon Diablo in the United States. .

ANU professor Jody Bradby said a special technique was used to make diamonds form at room temperature.

The twist in history is how we apply pressure. In addition to very high pressures, we allow carbon to experience something called “shear”

; – which is like a torsional or sliding force. We believe that this allows carbon atoms to move in place and shape Lonsdale and a plain diamond, ”said Professor Bradby.

Lonsdaleite has special properties and is expected to be 58% harder than regular diamonds.

“Lonsdaleite has the potential to be used to cut superhard materials on mining sites,” said Professor Bradby.

“Creating more than this rare but extremely useful diamond is the long-term goal of this work.”

Diamonds have a potential industrial application, such as drilling.

Xingshuo Huang, an ANU PhD student working in Professor Bradby’s lab, highlighted the achievements.

“The ability to make two types of diamonds at room temperature was exciting to achieve for the first time in our lab,” Huang said.

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