The results, by CNPEM researchers, were published in the journal “Scientific Reports” from Nature Group.
A low-cost way to produce nanostructured diamonds from graphite was developed by researchers from the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Laboratory (LNLS), LNNano (Brazilian Nanotechnology National Laboratory) and Ipen (Nuclear and Energy Research Institute). They used ultrafast laser in order to generate a shock wave, which was able to achieve the pressure and temperature levels necessary to synthesize diamond.
The produced diamonds are composed by nanocrystals, with higher resistance and hardness if compared to natural diamonds. This kind of diamond is already produced in laboratory, but it involves a costly process due to the necessary equipment. In the work developed by the Brazilian researchers, the process can be carried out in medium-size laboratories from Brazil and abroad, with lower costs.
The answer is the use of ultrashort laser pulses which causes fast variations of the environmental energy, thus inducing phase transitions in carbon. This enabled the researchers to achieve the necessary pressure and temperature levels in order to produce diamond-like phase from graphite. The results were noticed in the journal “Scientific Reports” from Nature group.
Source: Francisco C. B. Maia, Ricardo E. Samad, Jefferson Bettini, Raul O. Freitas, Nilson D. Vieira Junior & Narcizo M. Souza-Neto, Synthesis of diamond-like phase from graphite by ultrafast laser driven dynamical compression. Scientific Reports 5, Article number: 11812 (2015). doi:10.1038/srep11812