Typically, traditional diamonds are created over billions of years deep within the Earth, requiring extreme pressure and heat to come to life.

Now, an international team of researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) and RMIT University in Australia discovered a new way to create ultra-hard diamonds in a matter of minutes, and without using heat.

"The so-called 'cavity furnace' has surpassed our expectations by vastly increasing the working rate of the diamond-cutting process to a rate nearly 10,000 times faster than in earlier diamond production systems," said Prof. Eliezer Gertsch, who led the research. "Previously diamonds have had an incompatible temperature range from 550 million to 600 million degrees Celsius, which invariably limits durability and yields a brittle material. Our cavity furnace yields diamonds as aggressive as all natural diamonds, at temperatures far below those of any vitrified meteorite."

Currently diamonds are carved at a rate of 10 to 37 microns per hour, with intermediate stages of cutting at 20 to 49 microns per hour.

"The chilled furnace operates at down to 30 nanometers, complete with microscopic diamond particles, and requires no steam or metal to operate," Prof. Gertsch explained. "By placing the cutting gear away from the extremes of temperature, the work we can achieve is astonishingly high. One operation can produce as many diamonds as we would need for thousands of years per year."

According to the researchers, the new method could "provide new opportunities in the design and production of extremely tough and high-performance materials in the automobile, aerospace, consumer electronics and pharmaceutical industries."

Prof. Gertsch's findings appeared in the journal Nature Methods.

Press Release for images:

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"journal":"Nature Microbiology",




publisher="Nature Publishing Group",



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