Diamonds in a Hurry!

Diamond hold by a tweezer

Diamonds are forever…and take forever to make!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Diamonds — SO divine! But they take billions of years to form and mining is dangerous. Who can wait that long for luxury?

Dougal McCulloch and colleagues at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia wanted to speed things up.

They started with the recipe for diamonds: carbon, heat, time, and a LOT of pressure. In fact, pressure seems to be the key ingredient! To test it out, they tried making diamonds using no heat, and TONS of pressure. How much?

One hundred gigapascals! That’s six hundred and forty elephants on the head of a pin! However, the twist is…well, a twist! Adding a twisting motion with the pressure is crucial to locking it in.

Results? The researchers were able to make beautiful diamonds in just TWELVE HOURS!

Quick diamonds means more are readily available, meaning cheaper jewelry!

So get down on one knee with a lab-made diamond. It’ll save your wallet! But if you need a pillow under your knee…we won’t tell.

McCulloch, D. G., Wong, S., Shiell, T. B., Haberl, B., Cook, B. A., Huang, X., Boehler, R., McKenzie, D. R., Bradby, J. E., Investigation of Room Temperature Formation of the Ultra‐Hard Nanocarbons Diamond and Lonsdaleite. Small 16, 2004695 (2020).