Scientists have long been asked the idea of obtaining diamonds from graphite, like the alchemists of the past, looking for all sorts of ways to create gold from various materials.
Diamond and graphite
The mining of diamonds is undoubtedly quite profitableA business that can support the economy of any country. But nevertheless, for sure many entrepreneurs would like to reduce the cost of obtaining these precious stones and thereby increase the revenue of the diamond mining industry. And what if it is possible to obtain diamonds in a synthetic way from graphite?
To answer this question, you need toTo understand the nature of the two materials - diamond and graphite. Many still remember chemistry lessons that these two seemingly different materials consist entirely of carbon.
A diamond is usually transparentCrystal, but can be blue, and blue, and red, and even black. This is the most solid and lasting substance on Earth. This hardness is due to the special structure of the crystal lattice. It has the shape of a tetrahedron, and all carbon atoms are at the same distance from each other. Graphite is dark gray with a metallic outflow, soft and completely opaque. The crystal lattice of graphite is located in layers, in each of which the molecules are assembled into strong hexagons, but between the layers the bond of the molecules is rather weak. That is, in fact, the difference between diamond and graphite lies in the different structure of the crystal lattice.
Obtaining diamond from graphite
As such, the conversion of graphite into a diamond is possible. This was proved by scientists of the twentieth century. In 1955, a report was presented by General Electric and the first diamonds were synthesized, though very small. The first was the synthesis of the researcher T. Hall. To achieve such success, equipment was used that made it possible to pressurize 120,000 atmospheres and a temperature of 1800 ° C.
A group of scientists from Allied Chemical CorporationDirect conversion of graphite into diamond was carried out. For this, more extreme conditions were used in comparison with previous methods. To create a 1 microsecond limit pressure of 300 thousand atmospheres and a temperature of 1200 ° C, an explosive of enormous power was used. As a result, several small particles of diamond were found in the graphite sample. Data on the result of the experiment were published in 1961.
However, these were not all methods of obtaining diamondsFrom graphite. In 1967, R. Wentorf raised the first diamond on a seed. The growth rate was rather low. The largest synthetic diamond R. Wentorf, produced by this method, reached a size of 6 mm and a weight of 1 carat (about 0.2 g).
Modern methods of synthesis of diamonds from graphite
Modern technologies make it possible to obtain diamondsFrom graphite in several ways. Diamonds are synthesized under conditions as close to natural as possible, as well as using catalysts. Diamond crystals are grown in a methane medium, and fine diamond dust for the production of various abrasives is obtained by the explosion of explosives or wire with a large current pulse.