Title: Synthesis and characterisation of a nanocrystalline diamond aerogelAuthors: Peter J. Pauzauskie, Jonathan C. Crowhurst, Marcus A. Worsley, Ted A. Laurence, A. L. David Kilcoyne, Yinmin Wang, Trevor M. Willey, Kenneth S. Visbeck, Sirine C. Fakra, William J. Evans, Joseph M. Zaug, and Joe H. Satcher, Jr.Aerogel materials have myriad scientific and technological applications due to their large intrinsic surface areas and ultralow densities. However, creating a nanodiamond aerogel matrix has remained an outstanding and intriguing challenge. Here we report the high-pressure, high-temperature synthesis of a diamond aerogel from an amorphous carbon aerogel precursor using a laser-heated diamond anvil cell. Neon is used as a chemically inert, near-hydrostatic pressure medium that prevents collapse of the aerogel under pressure by conformally filling the aerogel's void volume. Electron and X-ray spectromicroscopy confirm the aerogel morphology and composition of the nanodiamond matrix. Time-resolved photoluminescence measurements of recovered material reveal the formation of both nitrogen- and silicon- vacancy point-defects, suggesting a broad range of applications for this nanocrystalline diamond aerogel. Read more
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