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Researchers Create Diamonds With Strange Properties Using New Carbon Type

Researchers have found a new means by which to craft diamonds like this manmade cubic zirconia.

Image via Pixabay

For the most part, diamonds are made under extreme conditions — either taking thousands of years to form in the forge of the earth’s crust, or requiring extreme heat in man-made laboratories. However, researchers have made a new discovery that allows for diamonds to be made at room temperature, with all manner of practical applications.

This discovery was made by researchers from North Carolina State University. According to UPI, the difference lies in the type of carbon used. Carbon is a versatile substance, and has two types of what is called  “solid state” — essentially referring to any time that carbon is a solid vs a liquid or a gas. We have known about graphite, and we have known about diamond, but this new type of Carbon, called Q-Carbon, has new and interesting properties.

…it is, for instance, harder than diamond, and glows slightly when exposed to any energy…

According to the North Carolina State University News, Q-Carbon can be created relatively cheaply and easily. An undifferentiated type of carbon is applied to a surface such as sapphire, plastic polymer, or glass, and blasted for a few hundred nanoseconds with a 4,000º C laser. This sets the carbon into Q-Carbon crystals.

Besides being cheap, the new state of Carbon has other interesting properties — it is, for instance, harder than diamond, and glows slightly when exposed to any energy, a property that Jay Narayan, one of the researchers on the team thought made it optimal for up-and-coming computing products. “Q-carbon’s strength and low work-function – its willingness to release electrons – make it very promising for developing new electronic display technologies,” she said.

The substance is even ferromagnetic, which was very surprising to researchers.

If you were hoping to further increase the supply on diamond rings, however, you may be in for a disappointment. Researchers, while very positive on thinks such as microneedles, microdots, and so on, did not mention anything about engagement rings.

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