New Diamond Aerogel is the Airiest Diamond Ever Made | Popular Science: To make a diamond aerogel, Peter J. Pauzauskie and colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory started with an amorphous carbon aerogel precursor and placed it in a diamond anvil cell, which is used to subject items to prodigious pressures. The team injected neon to prevent the aerogel from collapsing under the pressure, and subjected the substance to 21, 22.5 and 25.5 gigapascals...
The resulting aerogel, confirmed through electron and X-ray spectromicroscopy, had a diffuse yet solid nanodiamond matrix. It’s transparent and pliable like plastic, and it even sparkles like the big ones, the researchers said. The aerogel possessed a bright and stable photoluminescence, which its precursor material did not.
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