Yet another carbon form

Yet another form of carbon has been discovered by scientists in the USA. The new phase of solid carbon, called Q-carbon, is distinct from known phases of graphite and diamond and can be produced at ambient pressure under laser action. Nevertheless, the team at North Carolina State University suggests that the most likely place this phase would form in the natural world is at the core of some types of planet. Q-carbon is harder than diamond, it is ferromagnetic and glows when exposed to even low levels of energy. "We can create diamond nanoneedles or microneedles, nanodots, or large-area diamond films, with applications for drug delivery, industrial processes and for creating high-temperature switches and power electronics," says team member Jay Narayan.