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September 07, 2018 Friday 03:33:46 PM IST

Nanodiamonds: tinier, but shinier than thought!

Science Innovations

Diamond, one of the hardest materials in the world, is made up of carbon atoms. It is so hard that only another diamond alone could scratch it.

How does a diamond shine? Owing to the specific structural property of diamond, the light rays get totallyreflected many times along different directionswithin it.

What if it is possible to convert all those reflections into the same direction simultaneously? This thought helped the researchersof Vienna University of Technology to develop tiny diamonds with inbuilt nitrogen atoms, capable of generating intense light output for a short time- a phenomenon called superradiance.

The added nitrogen atoms to the vacant position of carbon atoms in nanodiamond initiate the emission of photons, which trigger multiple emissions simultaneously-a phenomenon called stimulated emission- but for a short span of time, unlike laser action, where multiple photons are needed for a long time to getoutput.


This phenomenon is expected to throw light into the mystery of Hawking radiation and blackholes.

 

Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41567-018-0269-7


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