When Michael Faraday first found out that diamond is merely an allotrope of carbon, nothing different from coal, it might have occurred to him that diamond could be made from coal. Now, Guo Wei Yang and colleagues at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China, have synthesized strongly fluorescent monodisperse diamonds with a cubic phase and 3 nm in size from a variety of coals.
The researchers use a laser source to ablate coal samples suspended in ethanol, which leads to nucleation and phase transition from coal to diamond, similar to processes under elevated temperatures and pressures. Using an abundant and inexpensive starting material, this study provides a facile and green method to prepare nanodiamonds.
- Nanodiamonds from coal at ambient conditions,
J. Xiao, P. Liu, G.W. Yang,