Just when we thought we knew everything there is to know about the elements, a 50,000-year-old meteorite has baffled scientists with discoveries that might revolutionise technology as we know it. The Diablo Canyon meteorite is the name of this meteorite, which has long piqued the interest of scientists. It is unknown if this meteorite originated in our solar system or travelled there from a remote region of the galaxy, but what it contains inside its heart has never been observed before. And one of them is a space diamond that might completely alter our current technology.
In Arizona, USA, the meteorite was initially found in 1891. Additionally, the meteorite has diamonds inside of it. According to a Live Science story, the structure is an interlocking form of diamond and graphite that has special features that, according to the researchers, one day may be used to create new types of electronics and quick charging technologies.
There is nothing like the diamonds found in the rock on Earth. At a depth of around 150 kilometres, where the temperature reaches about 1,093 degrees Celsius, diamonds are created on our planet (2000 degrees Fahrenheit). Diamonds are created when carbon undergoes a cubic structural transformation at that pressure and temperature. The diamonds in the old meteorite, however, are arranged in a hexagonal pattern.
Lonsdaleite diamonds, which are found in the Diablo Canyon meteorite, can only develop under conditions of extreme pressure and heat. Although it has been successfully recreated in laboratories, producing it in big quantities will not be simple or inexpensive. Scientists believe it was produced when the meteorite hit the Earth, which resulted in extremely high temperatures and pressures. However, this has also encouraged them to believe that these diamonds could be common in outer space.
While examining these diamonds, researchers also discovered a peculiar structure. They discovered growths of graphene, another carbon-based substance, which was interlocking with the diamonds in addition to lonsdaleite. Graphene, a one-atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms organised in a hexagonal lattice, is the fundamental component of graphite.
Diaphites are the never-before-seen growths on the lattice. According to the experts, these diaphites have an odd structure where the layers do not match, resulting in flaws throughout their whole length. According to some estimates, graphene is six times lighter and 10 times stronger than steel. The existence of diaphites makes it an intriguing hypothesis indicating that the electrons inside the structure can be controlled, even though preliminary study into it is still underway.