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Extensively Microtwinned Diamond with Nanolaminates of Lonsdaleite Formed by Flash Laser Heating of Glassy Carbon

Publication Type
Journal Name
Nano Letters
Publication Date
Page Numbers
10311 to 10316

Diamond’s unique properties on the nanoscale make it one of the most important materials for use in biosensors and quantum computing and for components that can withstand the harsh environments of space. We synthesize oriented, faceted diamond particles by flash laser heating of glassy carbon at 16 GPa and 2300 K. Detailed transmission electron microscopy shows them to consist of a mosaic of diamond nanocrystals frequently joined at twin boundaries forming microtwins. Striking 3-fold translational periodicity was observed in both imaging and diffraction. This periodicity was shown to originate from nanodimensional wedge-shaped overlapping regions of twinned diamond and not from a possible 9R polytype, which has also been reported in other group IVa elements and water ice. Extended bilayers of hexagonal layer stacking were observed, forming lonsdaleite nanolaminates. The particles exhibited optical fluorescence with a rapid quench time (<1 ns) attributed to their unique twinned microstructure.