Scientists from the Brazilian Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais found new evidence that shows that diamonds can be forged in thin films called diamondene.
In a paper published in Nature Communications, the group of researchers led by physicist Luiz Gustavo Cançado explain that when a pair of graphene sheets are squeezed to pressures around tens of thousands of times that of Earth’s atmosphere and in the presence of specific chemical groups such as hydrogens, the crystal structure appears to morph from graphite to diamond.
This conclusion was reached by Cançado and his team after performing Raman spectroscopy to monitor the structure of the carbon crystal. By shining laser light on the material, they were able to see how the atoms’ vibrations changed under pressure. According to Science News, “this method provides indirect evidence that diamondene has formed. A next step is to scatter X-rays or electrons off the material to be sure of its structure.”
Diamondene is predicted to be a ferromagnetic semiconductor with spin polarized bands, something that is used in applications to store data.