According to foreign media reports, Rice University researchers have developed a method that can directly convert carbon from various sources into useful forms, such as diamond or graphene. The technology uses an electrical "flash" to heat the carbon and convert it into a final form determined by the length of the flash. The initial flashes lasted 10 milliseconds, but the team found that by changing the duration to 10 to 500 milliseconds, they could channel carbon into other forms. These include nanodiamonds and "concentric carbon," where carbon atoms form a shell around the core of the nanodiamond.
In order to achieve the whole process, the organic fluorine compounds and precursors are added to the mixture at the beginning. Previous studies have shown that fluorine helps to bring carbon atoms closer together and allows nanodiamonds to be made under milder conditions - usually under very high pressure.
The team said the new FJH process could help produce these new forms of bulk, which is traditionally difficult to do. These include fluorinated nanodiamonds, which are more useful in electronic components such as semiconductors, but usually require a separate doping process.
"Small diamonds have long been used in industry as cutting tools and electrical insulators," said James tour, lead researcher on the study. The fluorinated version here provides a way to change these structures. There is a great demand for graphene, and fluorine-containing graphene is a new batch production. Concentric shell structures are used as lubricant additives, which may provide a cheap and fast path for these formations. "