Researchers at Stanford University have created a new, easier and faster way to make diamonds in the lab. The team took out a cloud of white powder, compressed it in a diamond-encrusted pressure chamber, and lasered it. The result is a micro-sized pure diamond in the pressure chamber.
By carefully regulating heat and pressure, researchers can use a hydrogen and carbon molecule found in crude oil and natural gas to make diamonds. The team says it is exciting to find a way to deceive the laws of thermodynamics, compared with the methods that diamonds usually need to form.
For more than sixty years, scientists have been able to synthesize diamonds. Typically, the process requires a lot of energy or a catalyst that is usually made of metal. The catalyst reduces the quality of the final product. The project’s scientists hope to create a clean system that converts a substance into diamonds without using a catalyst. Diamonds are essential for a variety of uses, including medicine, industry, quantum computing and other industries.
The team first extracted three powders from oil. According to the team, the powders are similar to rock salts. These powders are called macanoxane and contain hydrogen. This process makes diamond production more rapid and efficient. The team used a plum-sized pressure chamber to press the powder between a pair of polished diamonds. Turning a screw creates the kind of pressure that might be found in the center of the earth. The key finding of the team was that the powder could be turned into diamonds with an astonishingly low energy.