Friday, September 24, 2010
Thanks to the arXive blog, another gem of recent preprints has surfaced. Multiwall carbon nanotubes, when irradiated, turn into onion-like balls - and the pressures at the center of these balls can be so large that the carbon structure even crystallizes into diamond at the center! See the original paper for more details... Update... Why is this cool? Well, just imagine what pressures one needs to grow artificial diamonds. In nature diamonds crystallize somewhere around 50bar, and the process takes literally ages. Nanotubes are grown in the lab pretty quickly, and the astonishing thing is that intramolecular forces alone can generate such extreme conditions.