Wow, I’ve reused a pun already?
Looking for a gift for your girlfriend but short on cash? Don’t have the time or resources to use tons of force or volcanic heat to forge diamonds? . Click here for the article on Science Daily that explains how resarchers at Case Western Reserve University are forming nanodiamonds directly from a gas.
These researchers have devoloped a way of cheaply making nanodiamonds on a lab bench at atmospheric pressure at near room temperature.
Not only does this discovery hold promise for many uses in technology in industry—coating plastics with diamond powder, making flexible electronics, implants, and other products with awesome diamond properties, etc—this discovery may offer some insight into our universe: an explanation of how nanodiamonds seen in space and found in meteorites may be formed.
“This is not a complex process: ethanol vapor at room temperature and pressure is converted to diamond,” said Mohan Sankaran, associate professor of chemical engineering at Case Western Reserve and leader of the project. “We flow the gas through a plasma, add hydrogen and out come diamond nanoparticles. We can put this together and make them in almost any lab.”
Sankaran said his nanodiamonds may offer an alternative to diamonds made by detonation methods because they are purer and smaller.
What did I find coolest about this awesomely versatile and revolutionary discovery? Not just that they may be making diamond the way it is sometimes made in outer space, no.
Rather, nanodiamonds are being tested to carry drugs to tumors. Diamonds are not recognized as an invader by the immune system, so they do not evoke resistance, the main reason why chemotherapy fails.
Let’s just take a second to realize that with ethanol and plasmas, we can create super tiny diamonds that could potentially treat cancer!
And yes, they are working on scaling up the process for industrial use. If it as cheap and simple as the lab process, industry will find many applications.
Yay, chemical engineering!