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Feb 7th, 2014
 
Diamond film possible without the pressure
 
Scientists have speculated about it and a few labs have even seen signs of what they call diamane, an extremely thin film of diamond that has all of diamond’s superior semiconducting and thermal properties.
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Rice University, Russian researchers lay out rules for ultrathin ‘diamane’.
Perfect sheets of diamond a few atoms thick appear to be possible even without the big squeeze that makes natural gems.

Now researchers at Rice University and in Russia have calculated a “phase diagram” for the creation of diamane. The diagram is a road map. It lays out the conditions – temperature, pressure and other factors – that would be necessary to turn stacked sheets of graphene into a flawless diamond lattice.

Fig 1: The phase diagram developed by scientists at Rice University and in Moscow describes the conditions necessary for the chemical creation of thin films of diamond from stacks of single-atomic-layer graphene.
(Credit: Pavel Sorokin/Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials).

In the process, the researchers determined diamane could be made completely chemically, with no pressure at all, under some circumstances.

The team led by Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and Pavel Sorokin, a former postdoctoral associate at Rice and now a senior researcher at the Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials in Moscow, reported results in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

Diamanes have a wide potential range of application,” Sorokin said. “They can be applied as very thin, dielectric hard films in nanocapacitors or mechanically stiff, nanothick elements in nanoelectronics. Also, diamanes have potential for application in nano-optics.

 

 
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