Scientists Grow Diamonds In Minutes Using Liquid Metal

Researchers have devised a new liquid metal alloy system for producing diamonds at moderate pressure conditions.

Scientists Grow Diamonds In Minutes Using Liquid Metal

This innovation has significant implications for various industries.

Diamonds typically take billions of years to form naturally and weeks to be produced synthetically. But researchers have developed a new method using a special liquid metal mix that can grow diamonds in just 150 minutes, all at normal atmospheric pressure.

This new technique eliminates the need for the immense pressure traditionally required for diamond production. The researchers, led by a team from South Korea's Institute for Basic Science, believe this method can be scaled up for significant industrial applications.

While dissolving carbon in liquid metal isn't a new idea, previous methods still involved high pressure and diamond seeds. This new approach utilizes a specific blend of liquid metals - gallium, iron, nickel, and silicon - heated rapidly in a vacuum chamber with methane and hydrogen gases.

These conditions cause carbon atoms to become suspended in the liquid metal, forming diamond crystal seeds. In just 15 minutes, tiny diamond fragments emerge, and a continuous diamond film can be formed within 150 minutes.

The researchers acknowledge limitations, such as the current diamond film's depth, but they believe improvements can be made through a larger growth area and optimized carbon distribution methods.

This new technique has the potential to revolutionize diamond production across various fields, from industrial applications and electronics to quantum computers. The study's authors believe this liquid metal approach can be further developed to grow diamonds on diverse surfaces and even on existing diamond particles.

This research, published in the journal Nature, holds promise for a faster, easier, and more efficient way to produce diamonds.