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A tough selling to your girlfriend

Producing diamonds out of cheap graphite looks like a good idea and at Purdue they managed to do just that.
The have found a way to transform graphite into nano diamonds by using laser pulses to hit a graphite layer. This creates a plasma of carbon atoms that is contained on site by layering a glass pane on the graphite. The fast pulsing laser is both creating a ionised carbon plasma and  a pressure wave that lead to the formation of the nano diamonds.
Present technologies to convert carbon into diamond required heating the carbon to very high temperature and submitting it to high pressure. In turns this makes for a very expensive process.  Hence the innovation created by Purdue researchers is about price, very low cost, and also low temperature making it possible to layer the nano diamonds on any kind of surface.
The researchers are seeing applications in a variety of fields, including biosensors, computer chips and sensors resisting to very demanding conditions (high pressures, temperatures, corrosive material exposure…).
Interestingly, they have discovered this possibility of producing nano diamond as they were looking at ways to harden a surface.
So, now you have an affordable way to create diamonds to present to your girlfriend. Unfortunately these diamonds are basically invisible to the naked eye, that’s what the nano means, hence making them a tough sell if you are trying to use themas  a hight tech substitute for that old fashioned diamond ring…

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the New Initiative Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He is a member of the IEEE in 2050 Ad Hoc Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.