Wednesday, June 5, 2024
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South Korean Scientists Achieve Diamond Growth in 15 Minutes

Scientists from South Korea’s Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) have developed a groundbreaking method to synthesize diamonds in just 15 minutes. This innovative technique employs a liquid metal alloy comprising gallium, iron, nickel, and silicon.

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The process involves placing the metal mix in a 9-liter tank and exposing it to methane and hydrogen gas at 1,025°C (1,877°F). After 15 minutes, the gases are purged, leaving a diamond film at the bottom, which can be easily detached for various applications.

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Traditionally, synthetic diamond production relies on “seed particles” to which carbon atoms adhere to form a diamond. However, the new method utilizes trace amounts of silicon in the liquid metal to cluster carbon atoms, yielding highly pure diamonds. Silicon’s role appears to be critical, although the specific metals in the alloy can vary.

The research team plans to investigate other liquid metal alloys and gases, as well as solid carbon sources, to assess their potential in diamond synthesis. While widespread use of this method for jewelry may be distant, it holds immediate promise for industrial applications.

Diamond synthesis in laboratories has been practiced for decades, typically requiring extreme conditions of nearly 50,000 atmospheres of pressure and temperatures around 1,500°C (2,732°F). This new technique, however, produces diamonds under standard pressure and at relatively lower temperatures.

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Alice
Alice
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