Diamonds are formed naturally deep under the earth over billions of years. The process of diamond formation needs an atmosphere with very high pressure and temperature over 1000 degrees celsius. However, an international team of experts has been able to make two different kinds of diamonds at room temperature within minutes. As per the report, for the first time, such diamonds have been made in the lab without any additional heat. Carbon atoms join in a number of ways to produce diverse matters like soft black graphite and transparent diamond. As per the experts, there is a variety of carbon bonding like graphite such as graphene, which is the thinnest material ever assessed. However, they have said that there is more than one form of diamond, which can be found on earth. In a normal diamond, carbon atoms are assembled in a cubic crystalline form, nevertheless, it is possible to assemble these atoms in a hexagonal crystal form as well. The findings of the study have been released in the journal Small.
Diamonds, which have hexagonal crystal shape, are known as Lonsdaleite. These types of diamonds are named after Irish crystallographer Kathleen Lonsdale, who has examined the form of carbon using X-rays. Experts have been taking much interest in this type of diamond, as it has been proved to be 58 percent harder than normal diamonds. Regular diamonds are considered the hardest natural substance on earth. The study has shown that both regular and Lonsdaleite diamonds can be made at room temperature in the lab by just adding high pressure. Experts have designed an experiment in which they have subjected a small chip of graphite-like carbon to both shear forces and high pressures to stimulate the formation of diamonds. Unlike other past experiments, experts have not added extra heat to the carbon sample during compression. They have used an advanced electron microscopy method, which can capture quite high-resolution images. At the end of the study, the resulting sample has been found to have both Lonsdaleite and regular diamond. In this experiment, a thin river of a diamond, which is 200 times smaller than human hair, has been enclosed by a sea of Lonsdaleite.
Diamonds are being synthesized in labs since 1954. After that, Tracy Hall at General Electric has created these diamonds through a process, which imitate the natural conditions within the crust of the earth. In this process, experts add metallic crystals to accelerate the process. It shows that high temperature and high-pressure diamonds are quite similar to natural diamonds. However, these diamonds have been smaller in shape and less perfect. These are formed for industrial applications. The chemical gas process is another method of making diamonds. This method uses smaller diamonds to form bigger diamonds. Around 800 degrees celsius temperature is needed for this method. The growth of the diamonds through this method is quite slow. Other ways of diamond formation include the violent effect of meteorites on earth and high-speed asteroid collisions in the solar system. These processes form extraterrestrial diamonds.