American scientists have managed to create an artificial diamond with a higher hardness index than the stones found in the natural environment. The researchers obtained a so-called hexagonal diamond made in the shape of a hexagon.
Diamond is considered a unique material because it can be used in many areas, from jewelry to optics to creating heavy-duty cutting tools. Scientists already know how to create cubic diamonds, but the technology to produce a hexagon required a shock wave of gunpowder and gas moving at 240,000 kilometers per hour. The result is small graphite disks turned into hexagonal diamonds.
Since these are only the first experiments, the result is still far from perfect. Hardness was measured with sound waves: sound travels faster through a stiff material. Not only are the hexagonal diamonds much harder than other types of artificial diamonds, but they are also much harder than diamonds made of natural materials.
Scientists believe that in the future, hexagonal diamonds will find use not only in jewelry, but also in industry, where hardness and toughness are valued, such as in drilling.