Scientists have grown nanoscale diamond structures that can be bent, paving the way for a range of new flexible materials for use in applications from data storage and imaging, to optoelectronics.
Diamond is the hardest and most durable of all natural materials, properties that make it useful in a range of fields, including mechanics, medicine and electronics. In its bulk form, however, diamond is very brittle and breaks when only slightly bent, limiting its applications.
Now, an international team of scientists, including researchers from the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea, have grown diamonds a few hundred nanometers in length that can be strained up to 9 per cent without breaking, compared with bulk diamond which breaks when less than 1 per cent strain is applied.
The work could open the door for diamond-based flexible devices in applications ranging from sensing and imaging, to drug delivery and optoelectronics.
- Science 360, 300-302 (2018). doi: 10.1126/science.aar4165