A diamond aerogel has been hammered out of a
microscopic anvil. Image by Kwei-Yu Chu/LLN
A Livermore team created a diamond aerogel from a standard carbon-based aerogel precursor using a laser-heated diamond anvil cell. The Livermore team has provided more pictures and information on their work.
* The new form of diamond has a very low density similar to that of the precursor of around 40 milligrams per cubic centimeter, which is only about 40 times denser than air.
* The success of this work also leads the team to speculate that additional novel forms of diamond may be obtained by exposing appropriate precursors to the right combination of high pressure and temperature.
The diamond aerogel could have applications in antireflection coatings, a type of optical coating applied to the surface of lenses and other optical devices to reduce reflection. Less light is lost, improving the efficiency of the system. It can be applied to telescopes, binoculars, eyeglasses or any other device that may require reflection reduction. It also has potential applications in enhanced or modified biocompatibility, chemical doping, thermal conduction and electrical field emission.
In creating diamond aergoels, lead researcher Peter Pauzauskie, a former Lawrence fellow now at the University of Washington, infused the pores of a standard, carbon-based aerogel with neon, preventing the entire aerogel from collapsing on itself.
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