Nanodiamonds can be grown without the use of explosions, according to researchers. The method might potentially be employed to introduce useful single-atom flaws into essentially flawless gemstones.
It’s intriguing that, despite the fact that a diamond is made up of only one ingredient, carbon, manufacturing this structure at the nanoscale scale is quite challenging. High heat and pressure combine with carbon particles to form a hard 3D cubic structure, which results in the formation of a diamond. An explosive like trinitrotoluene (often referred to as TNT) has been used in the past by scientists to make lab-grown nanodiamonds.
Carbon in the bomb mixture is transformed into microscopic diamond particles during the explosion. Unfortunately, it is difficult to manage this primitive procedure. An extra sorting process is required since the crystals formed are not uniform in size.
Iron & iron-carbon complexes, which include carbides as well as carbonates, are found in the Earth’s crust, where diamonds originate. A chemical technique was devised by scientists to mimic the conditions under the Earth’s surface.
Symmetric, flawless nanodiamonds may be amazing to work with. So when these materials include flaws like cavities or atoms of nitrogen, silicon, nickel, or some other element, they may be considerably more valuable.
The non-carbon elements are dubbed “color centers” since they give the substance a tinge of color. To hold data in quantum computers & communications devices, nanoparticles with a single color core are greatly sought-after. Nanodiamonds having single-color centers can already be synthesized in sufficient quantities for a few thousand quantum computers, but the small crystals must first be appropriately placed before calculations can be performed.
For many diamond-related technology solutions, we now have a perfect base from which to create a method for producing single-color center nanodiamonds.
The study’s results will be presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS), during the spring meeting.