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Tequila Diamonds

http://slightlywarped.com/tequila-diamonds/

While Tequila Diamonds almost sounds like the name of a Latin stripper – and

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I’m sure it is somewhere, it’s also two words that have set the scientific community on its ear.  It turns out that Mexican scientists have created diamonds… from tequila!

A team of Mexican scientists found that the heated vapor from 80-proof (40% alcohol) tequila blanco, when deposited on a silicon or stainless steel substrate, can form diamond films.

The key to the surprising discovery is tequila’s ratio of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, which lies within the “diamond growth region.” The resulting diamond films could have inexpensive commercial applications as electrical insulators.

In their experiments, the scientists grew the diamond films using “pulsed liquid injection chemical vapor deposition techniques.” In a specially made device, they heated the liquid tequila to 280 ºC (536 ºF) to transform it into a gas. In a reaction chamber, they heated the gas to 800 ºC (1470 ºF) to break down its molecular structure, resulting in solid diamond crystals of about 100-400 nm. The crystals fell onto silicon or stainless steel trays, accumulating in a thin, uniform film. The high temperatures removed all of the tequila´s carbon impurities to result in pure diamonds.

The final diamond film was hard and heat-resistant – properties that could make the diamond useful as coatings for cutting tools, high-power semiconductors, radiation detectors and optical-electronic devices, the scientists explained. They plan to begin industrial-scale applications around 2011, and hope to interest a tequila producer in widening its market beyond the traditional beverage.

Sigh… What a waste of tequila.

 

 

About the author

Jason Donner

Jason Donner devoured the universe and you are all living inside him.