Revolutionary Science: Diamonds Grown by Scientists in Merely 150 Minutes, Bypassing Billions of Years

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Natural diamonds form over billions of years under extreme pressure and high temperatures deep underground. While synthetic diamonds can be made much faster, they typically require intense pressure for several weeks to be produced. A new technique that uses liquid metals can create an artificial diamond in a matter of minutes, without the need for intense compression.

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The innovative approach, developed by researchers from the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea, uses a combination of liquid metals to create a continuous diamond film in 150 minutes at standard atmospheric pressure, which is the same pressure we experience at sea level. This pressure is tens of thousands of times less than the pressure usually required for synthetic diamonds.

To achieve these results, the team used a mix of gallium, iron, nickel, and silicon, heating the metals to 1,025°C (1,877°F) in a custom-built vacuum system within a graphite casing. The liquid metal was then exposed to methane and hydrogen, causing carbon atoms to be absorbed into the mixture. This allowed diamond crystals to form near the surface, with the entire process taking only a few minutes.

While this method is still in its early stages, the team is optimistic that it can be scaled up to make a significant impact on synthetic diamond production. The researchers believe that modifying the setup to cover a larger area and optimizing the carbon distribution could improve the quality and consistency of the diamonds produced.

Existing methods for producing synthetic diamonds, which are used in various industrial applications, electronics, and even quantum computers, usually require several days and much higher pressures. This new technique has the potential to make diamond production quicker and easier.

The research team suggests that similar approaches could be used to grow diamonds on various surfaces or small diamond seed particles. Although the study is at an early stage, the findings hold promise for the future of synthetic diamond manufacturing.

The research has been published in Nature, showcasing the potential for significant advancements in the production of synthetic diamonds. If this new technique continues to show promise, it could revolutionize the synthetic diamond industry, making it faster, more efficient, and more accessible.

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