Proof of artificial diamond stronger than diamond


 

The hardest natural material is diamond. Most natural diamonds are cubic diamonds with a crystal structure of 44 squares. Scientists have published the theory that hexagonal diamonds, which have a hexagonal crystal structure, will be harder than cubic diamonds with a square crystal structure, but it was not easy to prove this in the laboratory.


Scientists have provided convincing evidence that hexagonal diamonds are harder than square cubic diamonds found in nature.


This artificial hexagonal diamond, named '6-sided crystal structure', is a special diamond among diamonds that can be found at the site of some meteorite impacts. Hexagonal diamonds have been made briefly in some laboratories, but they could not even be measured because they were too small or existed very briefly and then disappeared.


Scientists at Washington State University's Institute of Impact Physics have created a hexagonal diamond large enough to measure its strength using sound waves. The research results were published in the Journal Physical Review B on March 8.


Yogendra Gupta, director of the Institute for Impact Physics and Corresponding Author of this paper, said, the hexagonal-shaped artificial diamond produced through the impact compression experiment is much harder and stronger than ordinary gemstone diamonds.


Scientists have long wanted to create artificial diamonds that are stronger than natural diamonds, yet can be used for a variety of industrial uses. Many scientists have announced that in theory, a hexagonal diamond would be stronger. Washington State University scientists have provided evidence that a hexagonal diamond, which existed primarily in theory, was the first to exist in a laboratory.


Graphite accelerates at high speed to generate hexagonal diamonds


Postdoctoral researcher Travis Volz, the lead author of the paper, focused on the study of making hexagonal diamonds from graphite. The team used gunpowder and compressed gas to accelerate graphite the size of a small coin at a speed of about 24,000 km/h. A shock wave was generated in the graphite disk by this speed, and the graphite disk was transformed very quickly into a hexagonal diamond.


Immediately after the impact, the researchers produced a small sound wave and measured with a laser how the sound wave moved in the diamond. Sound moves faster in hard materials. In previous experiments, sound traveled fastest through a cubic diamond, but in an artificial hexagonal diamond the team made in a laboratory, sound traveled faster in the cubic diamond.


The measurement process took place in billions of a second, but the researchers were able to measure the stiffness of the diamond before it was destroyed by the high-speed impact.

Stiffness is the ability of a material to resist deformation under force or pressure. For example, a stone does not bend when pressed, but a stone is harder than rubber because it bends when pressed. Hardness is the resistance to scratching or other surface deformation.


In general, materials with high rigidity also have high hardness. The team couldn't directly scratch an artificial hexagonal diamond made in a laboratory to measure its hardness. However, the research team can infer hardness.


It seems to increase its value for jewelry


If hexagonal diamonds are commercially produced and developed to be recoverable, they can be used for a variety of purposes. Since high hardness materials are very useful in machining operations, diamonds have long been used in drilling tools.


Boltz said., because hexagonal diamonds are more likely to be harder than square cubic diamonds, they are an excellent alternative for a variety of applications, such as machining and drilling where cubic diamonds are used


General Gupta said the hexagonal diamond could one day be used in an engagement ring. Currently, laboratory-made cubic diamonds are less valuable than natural diamonds. However, since hexagonal diamonds found in nature are very rare, artificial hexagonal diamonds also become more scarce.


Gupta said, in the future, commercial production of hexagonal diamonds will be much more in demand than cubic diamonds for jewelry.

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