Scientists make nanodiamonds from plastic bottles
A team of German and French researchers have designed an interesting experiment to find out more about the state of the icy giant planets Neptune and Uranus. They discovered that he fired a very powerful laser flash at a film of PET plastic (the same one used in PET bottles) and the resulting shock wave produced tiny diamonds.
Scientists at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR), University of Rostock, and École Polytechnique wanted to simulate the extreme conditions found within the ice giant. In the depths of these distant worlds, internal heat raises temperatures to thousands of degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressures millions of times that of Earth.
When the team aimed a powerful laser flash at the film sample, it created a shock wave that compressed the material for a few nanoseconds to a million times Earth’s atmospheric pressure.
“We found that this extreme pressure produces tiny diamonds,” says Dominic Krauss, a physicist at HZDR and a professor at the University of Rostock.
Scientists chose the everyday material PET (polyethylene terephthalate) because it has a good balance of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen to simulate the interior of an icy giant planet, Krause said. .
The experiment was conducted at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California using the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a powerful accelerator-based X-ray laser.
Two measurement methods were used to analyze what happened when a powerful laser flash hit the film. These were X-ray diffraction to determine whether nanodiamonds were produced in parallel with small-angle scattering (SAS) techniques to see how fast and how large they grew.
The study further supports the theory that ice giants such as Neptune and Uranus could literally rain diamonds. Similar planets outside our solar system may also experience this type of activity.
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Scientists believe that an unusual form of water known as ‘superionized water’ should have formed with the diamonds, and want to conduct more research to confirm if this is the case. I think
Not only does this work provide this exciting new knowledge about icy giant planets, but it could also help establish new methods for industrial production of nanodiamonds that can be used, for example, to make quantum sensors. I have. It could also help produce the nanometer-sized diamonds that are currently used to make abrasives and abrasives.
“So far, diamonds of this kind have been produced mainly by detonating explosives,” Krause said. “Lasers may be manufactured cleaner in the future with the help of flash. X-ray lasers mean we now have lab tools that allow us to precisely control diamond growth.” increase.”