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Posted: Jul 17, 2013
Understanding ultrafine nanodiamond formation using nanostructured explosives
(Nanowerk News) "Understanding ultrafine nanodiamond formation using nanostructured explosives" - this is the title of an article published in Nature by a scientific team of the joint research unit NS3E (ISL – French National Research Agency CNRS – University of Strasbourg). It describes the elaboration of a new technique for the synthesis of nanodiamonds by the detonation of nanostructured explosive charges thus obtaining nanodiamond particles of a size comprised between 1 and 3 nm.
Photograph of the explosive charge (middle). SEM micrograph of the microstructured (top) and nanostructured (bottom) explosive pellets.
This is the first time worldwide that such an experience has been performed. Never before a nanostructured charge has been detonated to produce diamond nanoparticles. These research activities will also contribute to a better understanding of detonation mechanisms on a local level.
Nanodiamonds can be used in multiple applications such as medical therapy (as kind of tracers), cryptography, optical protection, hardening of new materials etc.
Up to now, the synthesis of nanodiamonds has been realized by detonating microstructured explosives, but this method only permitted the production of extremely small quantities of nanodiamonds having a size of 1 to 3 nm. The passage from a microstructered charge to a nanostructured one thanks to a new proceeding of nanocristallisation - also developed by ISL and CNRS- allowed the NS3E team to synthesize finer nanodiamonds in bigger quantities.