How to create Diamonds using Tequila and Stainless Steel

How to create Diamonds using Tequila and Stainless Steel

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Not many people, out on the town on a Friday night at their local watering hole, might link the round of tequila shots they have just ordered, and the stainless steel tray it is sitting on, with making diamonds. However, that is exactly what two pioneering scientists in Mexico have achieved.

Using their national beverage at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, Luis Apátiga and Victor Castaño discovered that 80-proof tequila had the necessary proportion of ethanol and water, to be vapour deposited onto stainless steel to create a diamond film.

Their research, which covered testing numerous organic solutions to form diamond, involves evaporating the tequila, and the super-heating it to over 760 degrees Celsius before depositing on stainless steel trays.

The resulting diamonds, aren’t the large rocks you might hope to see on your friend’s engagement ring, coming in at a tiny 100-400 nanometres (1 nanometre = 1 millionth of a millimetre), they are positively microscopic, but they are completely pure. Being incredibly hard, and resistant to very high temperatures, they have a range of applications such as optical-electrical devices and impregnated surfaces on cutting tools. The is also the possibility of adding impurities to pure diamond during the process, to produce a completely new type of semiconductor.

Apátiga and Castaño plan to ramp up production of their new diamonds once research is finalised and start producing industrial-scale quantities of the material, providing they can find a Tequila distillery who can provide them enough of the beverage.

We probably won’t be able to form diamonds on our stainless steel products – though our stainless steel bar sinks are certainly ideal for serving tequila – but I think we should buy a small bottle just to try . . . purely for scientific purposes, you understand!!