Lonsdaleite is faulted and twinned cubic diamond and does not exist as a discrete material

Peter Nemeth, Laurence Garvie, Toshihiro Aoki, Natalia Dubrovinskaia, Leonid Dubrovinsky, P R Buseck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lonsdaleite, also called hexagonal diamond, has been widely used as a marker of asteroidal impacts. It is thought to play a central role during the graphite-to-diamond transformation, and calculations suggest that it possesses mechanical properties superior to diamond. However, despite extensive efforts, lonsdaleite has never been produced or described as a separate, pure material. Here we show that defects in cubic diamond provide an explanation for the characteristic d-spacings and reflections reported for lonsdaleite. Ultrahigh-resolution electron microscope images demonstrate that samples displaying features attributed to lonsdaleite consist of cubic diamond dominated by extensive {113} twins and {111} stacking faults. These defects give rise to nanometre-scale structural complexity. Our findings question the existence of lonsdaleite and point to the need for re-evaluating the interpretations of many lonsdaleite-related fundamental and applied studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5447
JournalNature Communications
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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Diamond
diamonds
Defects
Graphite
defects
Stacking faults
crystal defects
markers
Electron microscopes
graphite
electron microscopes
spacing
mechanical properties
Electrons
Mechanical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Lonsdaleite is faulted and twinned cubic diamond and does not exist as a discrete material. / Nemeth, Peter; Garvie, Laurence; Aoki, Toshihiro; Dubrovinskaia, Natalia; Dubrovinsky, Leonid; Buseck, P R.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 5, 5447, 2014.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nemeth, Peter ; Garvie, Laurence ; Aoki, Toshihiro ; Dubrovinskaia, Natalia ; Dubrovinsky, Leonid ; Buseck, P R. / Lonsdaleite is faulted and twinned cubic diamond and does not exist as a discrete material. In: Nature Communications. 2014 ; Vol. 5.
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