Comparison of hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic compression of glassy carbon to 80 GPa

Xingshuo Huang*, Thomas B. Shiell, Alan Salek, Alireza Aghajamali, Irene Suarez-Martinez, Qingbo Sun, Timothy A. Strobel, David R. McKenzie, Nigel A. Marks, Dougal G. McCulloch, Jodie E. Bradby

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Understanding new mechanisms for phase transformation in carbon is of considerable interest. This study investigates on the compression conditions required to create recoverable diamond during room-temperature high-pressure compression of glassy carbon. Under non-hydrostatic compression conditions when shear is present, glassy carbon transforms into an oriented graphitic structure at ∼45 GPa, and then forms mixed diamond and lonsdaleite nanocrystals when the pressure is higher than ∼80 GPa. In contrast, during hydrostatic compression no significant changes in the microstructure was observed, highlighting glassy carbon's resilience under compression. Molecular dynamics modelling supports the proposed model that shear drives the phase transition mechanism and causes a temperature spike that drives crystallisation. Our work demonstrates that shear is key to high-pressure diamond formation in the absence of heating.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number118763
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2024


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