Scientists created a diamond that’s harder than all found in nature.
A synthetic diamond harder than nature’s created by scientists from the Australian National University (ANU) and an international team.
Above, the nano-sized Lonsdaleite in a diamond anvil. Credit Jamie Kidston, ANU
The new diamond predicted to be harder than a jeweler’s diamond and useful for cutting through ultra-solid materials on mining sites.
Dr Jodie Bradby from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering, said:
“This new diamond is not going to be on any engagement rings. You’ll more likely find it on a mining site – but I still think that diamonds are a scientist’s best friend. Any time you need a super-hard material to cut something, this new diamond has the potential to do it more easily and more quickly.”
Her research team made the Lonsdaleite in a diamond anvil at 400 degrees Celsius, halving the temperature at which it can be formed in a laboratory.
“The hexagonal structure of this diamond’s atoms makes it much harder than regular diamonds, which have a cubic structure. We’ve been able to make it at the nanoscale and this is exciting because often with these materials ‘smaller is stronger’.”