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A research team led by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory scientists has uncovered a potential new route to produce thin diamond films for a variety of industrial applications, from cutting tools to electronic devices to electrochemical sensors.

The scientists added a few layers of graphene to a metal support and exposed the topmost layer to hydrogen. To their surprise, the reaction at the surface set off a domino effect that altered the structure of all the graphene layers from graphite-like to diamond-like.

"We provide the first experimental evidence that hydrogenation can induce such a transition in graphene," says Sarp Kaya, researcher at the SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis and corresponding author of the recent study.

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