Radiation-induced nucleation of diamond from amorphous carbon: Effect of hydrogen

Yanqiu Sun, Alexander G. Kvashnin, Pavel B. Sorokin, Boris I. Yakobson, W. E. Billups

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Electron irradiation of anthracite functionalized by dodecyl groups leads to recrystallization of the carbon network into diamonds. The diamonds range in size from ∼2 to ∼10 nm and exhibit {111} spacing of 2.1 Å. A bulk process consistent with bias-enhanced nucleation is proposed in which the dodecyl group provides hydrogen during electron irradiation. Recrystallization into diamond occurs in the hydrogenated graphitic subsurface layers. Unfunctionalized anthracite could not be converted into diamond during electron irradiation. The dependence of the phase transition pressure on cluster size was estimated, and it was found that diamond particles with a radius up to 20 nm could be formed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1924-1928
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • amorphous carbon
  • bias-enhanced nucleation
  • diamonds
  • reductive alkylation


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