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Scientists have figured out how to bend diamonds and stretch like rubber



This unexpected discovery opens the door to a variety of diamond-based device applications.

Diamonds can be the hardest natural material on earth, but an international research team has found a way to manipulate the tough structure of diamonds and bend them to their will – literally.

A study published last week in the journal Science reveals that, although famous for being brittle, diamonds can elastically deform, making rubber in the same way, when viewed from a nanoscale point of view considered.

The research, conducted by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea, showed that diamonds "can become flexible" extremely tiny, needle-like shapes, "it says in a news release

To observe how much the properties of nanoscale diamond can differ, researchers have taken thin films of artificial material diamonds and etched tiny needles from them, Newsweek reports

According to senior co-author Ming Dao of the Department of Material Science and Engineering at MIT, the ultrafine diamond needles are only 300 nanometers wide (one nanometer is one billionth of a meter), can bend and stretch up to nine percent, before it recoils to its original shape.

This is more than eight times higher than the maximum tensile strength of ordinary diamond in solid F "It was very surprising to see how elastic the nano-diamond can be stretched," says Bernoulli in the press release.

Explain that the key to these results was the small size of the diamond needles, "which allowed very smooth, defect-free diamonds," the team wrote in their paper.

"We developed a unique nanomechanical approach to accurate Control and quantification of the nanodiamond samples, "says senior co-author Yang Lu of the Shenzhen Research Institute at Hong Kong City University

Using a technique called" elastic strain engineering ", which changed the mechanical properties of diamond crystals by applying a Very large elastic elongation, the team observed that the elastic deformation they achieved was close to the known ideal tensile strength of diamond – the theoretical limit achievable by defect-free diamond R toZ.org . Senior co-author Subra Sure Sh, of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said I4U News that the results were so unexpected that the team re-performed the experiments under different conditions to make sure they were accurate ,

This spectacular find has a very wide range of potential applications, especially in microelectronics and drug delivery, highlighted in the study.

For example, diamonds could be used as biocompatible carriers to deliver drugs directly into cancer cells. Other options include acquisition, data storage, activation, biocompatible in vivo imaging and optoelectronics, MIT Details in press release


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