A strong, ultra-thin diamond film made from graphene could help pave the way to smaller and more flexible electronics.
Previous attempts to create diamene from bilayer or multilayer graphene have involved high pressure, which offers only temporary results, or the addition of hydrogen atoms, which are difficult to control.
As an alternative, teams from the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology replaced the hydrogen atom addition with fluorine. According to the researchers, exposing the bilayer graphene to fluorine creates a stronger bond by bringing the layers of graphene closer together, resulting in a fluorinated diamond material called F-diamene. The process can be carried out at near-room temperature and under low pressure with no gas activation mechanisms or plasma required—making the technique easy to scale upf and less prone to defects.