While the diamond industry has traditionally had to use massive amounts of pressure to create artificial diamonds, a team of Stanford researchers has discovered a much simpler and more flexible way to make artificial diamonds from graphite.
The team of researchers, led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory associate staff scientist Sarp Kaya, initially set out to make a high-performance replacement for silicon from graphene to use in transistors. Instead of finding a substitute for silicon, however, the team discovered a process that turned the graphene layers into a diamond-like film.
The researchers found that introducing hydrogen creates chemical bonds between the bottom layer of graphene and platinum substrate. These bonds mimic the strong bonds found in real diamonds.
Artificial diamonds are typically manufactured by applying extremely high levels of pressure to graphite, which reconfigures their atomic structure into a more stable, diamond-like form.