Terapascal static pressure generation with ultrahigh yield strength nanodiamond

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Science Advances  20 Jul 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 7, e1600341
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600341

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Studies of materials’ properties at high and ultrahigh pressures lead to discoveries of unique physical and chemical phenomena and a deeper understanding of matter. In high-pressure research, an achievable static pressure limit is imposed by the strength of available strong materials and design of high-pressure devices. Using a high-pressure and high-temperature technique, we synthesized optically transparent microballs of bulk nanocrystalline diamond, which were found to have an exceptional yield strength (~460 GPa at a confining pressure of ~70 GPa) due to the unique microstructure of bulk nanocrystalline diamond. We used the nanodiamond balls in a double-stage diamond anvil cell high-pressure device that allowed us to generate static pressures beyond 1 TPa, as demonstrated by synchrotron x-ray diffraction. Outstanding mechanical properties (strain-dependent elasticity, very high hardness, and unprecedented yield strength) make the nanodiamond balls a unique device for ultrahigh static pressure generation. Structurally isotropic, homogeneous, and made of a low-Z material, they are promising in the field of x-ray optical applications.

  • Ultra-high static pressure generation
  • nanodiamond
  • double-stage diamond anvil cell
  • terapascal pressures

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