Strained and plastic diamonds
Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16
Whilst macroscopic diamonds cannot undergo large strains without breaking, researchers have manufactured diamond nanoneedles that can experience strains of up to 9% without shattering. This property allows the nanoneedles to be bent at right angles, a deformation that would be impossible with macroscopic diamonds.
In the high temperatures and pressures within the Earth, diamonds can undergo plastic deformation, causing vacancy clusters within the crystal lattice. Such dislocations can give rise to brown and pink coloured diamonds.