- R&D 100 Awards
Q-Carbon and Diamond Related Products includes new materials Q-Carbon and Q-BN, and a novel process for direct conversion of carbon into diamond and h-BN into c-BN. This innovation allows amorphous carbon to be converted into diamond or a new phase of carbon (Q-carbon) at ambient temperatures, and pressures in air by nanosecond laser melting and rapid quenching. The Q-phases exhibit higher hardness than diamond. Q-carbon is ferromagnetic with Curie temperature above 500K when pure. By controlling the nucleation and growth, diamond nanodots, nanoneedles, microneedles, micro- and macro-size diamonds can be created, along with large-area single-crystal films. These and c-BN structures can be doped with n- and p-type dopants with solubility limits far in excess of thermodynamic limits via solute trapping. These four classes of materials in various forms open significant opportunities, ranging from cutting, polishing, high-speed matching, deep-sea drilling, magnetic sensors and targeted drug therapy to biomarkers and quantum computing.