Do Your Q-Carbon Chain Hang Low?
This week, researchers at the North Carolina State University discovered a new diamond. But chances are that you won’t be running out to Jared to frost yourself with these bad boys.
Carbon makes up a lot of things on this planet. It’s in your food, clothes, and in the videocassette of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” you forgot to return to Blockbuster in 2003. We see elemental carbon (Elemental carbon - carbon that is chilling by itself and having a “Me Day”) most often as diamonds or graphite (Graphite - the 0.5 or 0.7 “lead” that you probably still have in the back of your closet somewhere). But this new type of elemental carbon is different than the others. It seems to be harder than diamonds, is magnetic, and glows even when exposed to low levels of energy making it brighter than normal diamonds. Blingtastic!
Q-carbon is relatively inexpensive and simple to make as well. (Don't try at home.)
Don't-DIY Q-Carbon Recipe
- amorphous carbon (carbon that doesn’t have a well-defined structure)
- 1 laser
- substrate (glass, plastic, or sapphire)
- Preheat your laser to 6,740°F (3,727°C)
- Cover your substrate in amorphous carbon
- Keep your laboratory at room temperature and at atmospheric pressure
- Zap your substrate/carbon combo with the laser for 200 nanoseconds (1 second divided by 200 billion)
- Rapidly cool your substrate/carbon combo
And voilà! You have yourself Q-carbon!
What are you going to do with your new bling? Researchers are thinking that the glow from the Q-carbon could be used to improve electronic displays and as nano or microneedles in medicine. But until there are more studies about the cool new kid of the carbon family, researchers will probably just keep things casual and just get to know each other better. For now, we will just stick with boring ol’ diamonds.