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Title: Novel phase of carbon, ferromagnetism, and conversion into diamond

We report the discovery of a new phase of carbon (referred to as Q-carbon) and address fundamental issues related to direct conversion of carbon into diamond at ambient temperatures and pressures in air without any need for catalyst and presence of hydrogen. The Q-carbon is formed as result of quenching from super undercooled state by using high-power nanosecond laser pulses. We discuss the equilibrium phase diagram (P vs. T) of carbon and show that by rapid quenching kinetics can shift thermodynamic graphite/diamond/liquid carbon triple point from 5000 K/12 GPa to super undercooled carbon at atmospheric pressure in air. It is shown that nanosecond laser heating of diamond-like amorphous carbon on sapphire, glass, and polymer substrates can be confined to melt carbon in a super undercooled state. By quenching the carbon from the super undercooled state, we have created a new state of carbon (Q-carbon) from which nanodiamond, microdiamond, microneedles, and single-crystal thin films are formed depending upon the nucleation and growth times allowed for diamond formation. The Q-carbon quenched from liquid is a new state of solid carbon with a higher mass density than amorphous carbon and a mixture of mostly fourfold sp{sup 3} (75%–85%) with the rest being threefold sp{sup 2}more » bonded carbon (with distinct entropy). It is expected to have new and improved mechanical hardness, electrical conductivity, chemical, and physical properties, including room-temperature ferromagnetism (RTFM) and enhanced field emission. Here we present interesting results on RTFM, enhanced electrical conductivity and surface potential of Q-carbon to emphasize its unique properties. The Q-carbon exhibits robust bulk ferromagnetism with estimated Curie temperature of about 500 K and saturation magnetization value of 20 emu g{sup −1}. From the Q-carbon, diamond phase is nucleated and a variety of micro- and nanostructures and large-area single-crystal diamond sheets are grown by allowing growth times as needed. Subsequent laser pulses can be used to grow nanodiamond into microdiamond and nucleate other nanostructures of diamond on the top of existing microdiamond and create novel nanostructured materials. The microstructural details provide insights into the mechanism of formation of nanodiamond, microdiamond, nanoneedles, microneedles, and single-crystal thin films. This process allows carbon-to-diamond conversion and formation of useful nanostructures and microstructures at ambient temperatures in air at atmospheric pressure on practical and heat-sensitive substrates in a controlled way without need for any catalysts and hydrogen to stabilize sp{sup 3} bonding for diamond formation.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Centennial Campus, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7907 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22493009
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 118; Journal Issue: 21; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; AMBIENT TEMPERATURE; BONDING; CURIE POINT; DENSITY; DIAMONDS; ELECTRIC CONDUCTIVITY; ENTROPY; FERROMAGNETISM; FIELD EMISSION; GRAPHITE; HARDNESS; HYDROGEN; LASER-RADIATION HEATING; MICROSTRUCTURE; MONOCRYSTALS; NANOSTRUCTURES; PHASE DIAGRAMS; POLYMERS; SAPPHIRE; THIN FILMS