A research conducted by a team of scientists from The Australian National University stated that regular diamonds and Lonsdaleite, a harder type of diamonds found at the site of meteorites impact on Earth, can be formed at room temperature by applying and focusing extremely high pressure on one point. Normally, diamonds form about 150 kilometers underground at temperatures above 1000 °C, but the trick is to apply pressure while using a shear force, as explained by said Jodie Bradby, a physics professor at ANU. This shear force consists of a huge twisting sliding force. This allows the carbon atoms to fall into the right place forming a diamond. Under this new method, regular diamonds form in the middle of Lonsdaleite veins, which was observed under electron microscopy techniques, as explained by Dougal McCulloch, physics professor at RMIT who co-lead the research.
This research can prove itself as a game changer for the mining industry. With this new technology, new drilling techniques can rely on affordable diamond bits. In comparison to synthetic diamonds, which are created under extreme heat, Lonsdaleite has the potential to be used for cutting through ultra-hard rock on mining sites, because of its increased material strength. Creating these types of diamonds also has the advantage of not relying on mining diamonds to produce drilling equipment. Given that Lonsdaleite is also created in a lab, its environmental impact factor is similar to that of synthetic diamonds.
Leotaud, V. R. (2020, November 23). Scientists produce diamonds in minutes at room temperature.
Spary, S. C. (2020, November 20). Diamonds created at room temperature in minutes. CNN.