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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Stanford scientists find a new way to turn graphite into diamond

•, By Dario Borghino
 A team of researchers at Stanford University has stumbled upon a new way of turning graphite (the material used for pencil leads) into a diamond-like carbon structure simply by applying hydrogen over a platinum substrate, without the need to apply external pressure of any kind. The discovery could lead to easier and more flexible manufacturing of diamonds used in cutting tools and other industrial devices.

The excellent hardness, mechanical strength and thermal conductivity of diamonds means they have a wide range of scientific and industrial applications. Their uses range from heat sinks that cool down electronic components to "anvil cells" used to synthesize specific materials.

Synthetic diamonds are normally built by taking graphite (the material used for pencil leads, which is simply a stack of graphene layers) and applying extremely high pressures, on the order of 150 thousand atmospheres. The immense forces exerted on the graphene sheets are enough to reconfigure their atomic structure into a much more stable, diamond-like form.

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