A new crystalline form of carbon—hexagonal diamond—has been synthesized in the laboratory under conditions of static pressure exceeding about 130 kbar and temperature greater than about 1000°C. It is necessary to start with well‐crystallized graphite in which the c axes of the crystallites are parallel to each other and to the direction of compression. There is electrical evidence that the transformation starts at room temperature but hexagonal diamond is not retrieved unless a setting temperature exceeding about 1000°C is applied. The electrical and crystal characteristics have been studied. The crystal structure is hexagonal with a=2.52 Å and c=4.12 Å. The theoretical density is 3.51+g/cm3, same as cubic diamond. It has also been prepared recently in another laboratory from crystalline graphite by a method involving intense shock compression and strong thermal quenching. More recently it has been discovered to be present to the extent of over 30% in the Canyon Diablo meteorite diamonds.

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