Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Q-Carbon Outshines Diamonds as Stronger and Brighter… and Faster?

Q-Carbon Outshines Diamonds as Stronger and Brighter… and Faster?

Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a new form of carbon that can be used to make diamonds at room temperature.

[DIGEST: Scientific America, Science Daily, APL Materials, Journal of Applied Physics, NYTimes]

Most people are familiar with the two common solid phases of the element carbon: graphite (as in pencils) and diamond (as in gems). Both substances are composed entirely of carbon atoms, but their structures are different, giving them very different properties. Now a third solid form of carbon may be joining their ranks.

Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered a new phase of carbon they call Q-carbon. Jay Narayan, the John C. Fan Distinguished Chair Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State, announced, "We've now created a third solid phase of carbon. The only place it may be found in the natural world would be possibly in the core of some planets."

A microscopic view of the Q-carbon diamonds. Credit: Jagdish Narayan and Anagh Bhaumik

This new substance is created at room temperature using a laser similar to those used in eye surgery. The scientists cover substances such as sapphires, glass, or plastic polymers with a carbon coating that does not have the crystalline structure of solid phases. When they heat the object with a pulse from the laser, the rapid heating and cooling create exceptionally thin films, measured in nanometers of Q-carbon. By changing the strength and timing of the laser, they can create diamond structures within the Q-carbon. The

process also allows these objects to be created in less expensive ways because the technology is more readily available and does not require changes to the atmosphere.

Q-carbon is harder than a diamond, glows when exposed to low levels of energy, and is ferromagnetic. Ferromagnetic materials are among the best at supporting a magnetic charge within themselves (highly permeable), while superconductors have low permeability. No previously known form of carbon is ferromagnetic.

According to the researchers, the tiny diamond structures created within Q-carbon can be used to help deliver medication and create high-temperature switches and power electronics by making nanodots or microneedles. Because of Q-carbon’s greater strength, the Q-carbon itself may have additional applications. But first, they need to discover how to make the Q-carbon structure bigger and thicker than it currently is: A sheet of paper is 100,000 nanometers thick, but a film of Q-carbon is only 20 to 500 nanometers.

The results of the research were reported in APL Materials and the Journal of Applied Physics, and the researchers have applied for patents. The researchers hope that Q-carbon can be used to make artificial body parts, better screens for electronics, and improved tools to replace those currently made with diamonds.

More from News

Screenshot of J.D. Vance

JD Vance Got Laughs With A Cringey 'Political Violence' Joke During His RNC Speech

Former President Donald Trump's running mate J.D. Vance was criticized for appearing to make light of the recent assassination attempt on Trump's life during his speech accepting the vice presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention.

At one point, Vance joked about "political violence" between Ohio and Michigan supporters while discussing some of his life experiences before officially starting his political career with a successful 2022 Senate campaign.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshots of Kamala Harris and J.D. Vance

Kamala Harris Calls Out JD Vance For 'What He Didn't Say' During RNC Speech In Epic Takedown

In a fiery speech to supporters in North Carolina, Vice President Kamala Harris called out what J.D. Vance—former President Donald Trump's freshly selected running mate—"didn't say" in his speech accepting the VP nomination on Night 3 of the Republican National Convention.

Amid much talk about key conservative issues like immigration, the ongoing border crisis, and "law and order," he did not once mention what the GOP has explicitly laid out and is now attempting to distance itself from: Project 2025.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshot of Daniel Dale; Donald Trump
CNN; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

CNN Fact-Checker Debunks Trump's RNC Speech Lies For 2 Minutes Straight—And Yeah, It's A Lot

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale debunked lies former President Donald Trump told during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, dedicating two minutes to picking apart Trump's many falsehoods.

Trump made numerous oddball remarks during his speech, particularly his reference that the world was "at peace" when he was in office until his political opponents "turned it into a planet of war," declaring that the planet is now "blowing up around us" due to Democratic policies.

Keep ReadingShow less
Screenshots of Donald Trump and Tiffany Trump

Trump Snubbed Daughter Tiffany As She Went In For A Kiss At The RNC—And People Are Team Tiffany

Social media users were sympathetic to Tiffany Trump after her father, former President Donald Trump, appeared to snub her as she went in for a kiss before his climactic speech accepting the GOP's presidential nomination.

Footage from early in the evening shows a smiling Tiffany walking up the stairs toward Trump, who clearly saw her. She then attempted to greet him with a kiss only to be ignored, as he looked out at the crowd beyond her, as she walked away looking dejected.

Keep ReadingShow less
Picture of Marjorie Taylor Greene seen on "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart
The Daily Show

Jon Stewart Just Pointed Out The Weird Noise MTG Made During Her RNC Speech—And Now We Can't Unhear It

Jon Stewart had a lot to unpack on Tuesday's airing of The Daily Show, given a wild week that included the shocking assassination attempt on former Republican President Donald Trump as well as the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, which kicked off on Monday.

One specific highlight from the opening night of the RNC that Jon couldn't help but fixate on was far-right Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene making strange sounds while addressing delegates during her speech.

Keep ReadingShow less