Diamond is deemed to be the toughest natural material; however, it can become flexible when developed in very slim, needle-like form. The scientists from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) showed that diamond needles—around a thousand times slimmer than a hair thread—can be curved and stretched up to 9% without shattering. The needles can come back to their actual state after removing the pressure.
Diamond is generally established in bulk form and can elongate only below 1%. If we attempt to curve them further than this bound, they may crack. However, the scientists have discovered that diamond needles can be bent by applying pressure. Prior to that, they were typically capable of compressing diamonds.
Yang Lu from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the study’s co-author, said, “We devised a distinctive nanomechanical approach to specifically quantify and control the ultra-large elastic strain dispersed in the nanodiamond samples.”
A diamond probe was utilized by scientists to apply force on the diamond nano-needles’ sides, which were developed through a unique procedure known as chemical vapor deposition and calculated how much every needle could deform. Using SEM (scanning electron microscope), the team recorded the complete procedure in real time. Also, they executed hundreds of computer simulations to comprehend and elucidate how the diamond needles went through huge elastic strains.
Professor Subra Suresh from the NTU Singapore said, “Our outcomes were so astonishing that we had to perform the test s again under diverse settings merely to substantiate them. Also, we carried out comprehensive computer simulations of the original samples and bending tests to calculate and find out the utmost tensile strain and stress that the diamond nano-needles could hold up prior to breaking.”
In another study by MIT researchers, a new approach is developed to analyze and design new ion conductors that can speed up the progress of high-energy lithium batteries and probably other energy delivery and storage devices such as fuel cells.