London, Jun 19: Scientists have created synthetic diamonds by... hold your breath Tequila! Mexican scientists heated their national drink under pressure and viola! the potent Mexican spirit produced diamond structures, which were able to conduct electricity. The crystals, used to make diamond film, were previously made from a number of different chemicals, often including nitrogen.
However, the film was difficult to make and the process proved expensive. But the experiment, highlighted by the New Scientist magazine, has for the first time proved that any type of alcohol can be used to produce synthetic diamond. Diamond film is tougher than silicon and is particularly useful in machines designed to operate in extreme temperatures or conditions, the researchers said. Scientists heated 80 per cent proof ''tequila blanco'', which has a short ageing process and is bottled soon after distillation, in a low-pressure chamber. The drink formed into crystals which tests later confirmed had a diamond structure and were able to conduct electricity.
''Some kinds of tequila seem naturally to have the right mix of atoms (to create diamond),'' said lead reseracher Javier Morales of the University of Nueva Leon near Monterrey in Mexico. More research was needed to determine if using the drink could prove as faster or as more reliable to use than current raw materials used by industry, Prof Morales told the Daily Telegraph. Experts think that the use of alcohol to create diamond could have potential. The result is certainly funny, but the process seems reasonable," said Rudolf Pfeiffer, professor of Physics from the University of Vienna in Austria. "I don't know of any previous attempts to make diamonds from drinks," he added.