Phosphorus: An Elemental Catalyst for Diamond Synthesis and Growth

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Science  12 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5101, pp. 1592-1593
DOI: 10.1126/science.259.5101.1592


As diamond-producing catalysts, 12 transition metals such as iron, cobalt, and nickel were first reported by General Electric researchers more than 30 years ago. Since then, no additional elemental catalyst has been reported. An investigation of the catalytic action of group V elements is of great interest from the viewpoint of producing an n-type semiconducting diamond crystal. In the present study, diamond was synthesized from graphite in the presence of elemental phosphorus at high pressure and temperature (7.7 gigapascals and 1800°C). Furthermore, single-crystal diamond was grown on a diamond seed crystal.