According to foreign media reports, carbon has many different structures, the most famous of which should be graphite and diamond (diamond). It is predicted that other forms of carbon structure exist under extremely high pressure, but now researchers have tested the carbon under the highest pressure in the laboratory and found that diamond exists for a much longer time than expected.
Carbon is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, which is the basis of most of the known life and the earth itself. It exists in different forms in different environments - the high pressure and high temperature inside the earth make it diamond. Other more exotic structures are expected to exist at higher pressures - more than 1000 GPa.
So in a new study, a group of scientists put much higher pressure on carbon to find out what other forms might be. The researchers pressed solid carbon to 2000 GPA - five times the pressure of the earth's core, and twice the pressure of previous laboratory studies of carbon.
Gilbert Collins, co-author of the study, said: "this is the highest pressure that has been measured for any atomic structure and is a key constraint on the equation of state, material strength, melting and chemical bonding of carbon."
The team used ramp shaped laser pulses to compress the carbon and an X-ray diffraction platform to take nanosecond images of its crystal structure.
Surprisingly, the researchers found that carbon kept its diamond structure for much longer than expected. It seems that the molecular bonds of diamonds are much more stable than previously thought. "Carbon diamonds are similar to the toughest structure ever explored," said Ryan rygg, co-author of the study. "This may mean carbon content deep inside the planet, where diamonds are expected to precipitate. Now we expect the diamond structure of carbon to persist in a wider planetary environment than we previously thought
This may mean that some theoretical forms of carbon may not exist or at least only form under greater pressure or different environments. It may also indicate that "Diamond planets" are more common in the universe than we think.