Influence of graphite crystallinity on the microtexture of nano-polycrystalline diamond obtained by direct conversion

Hiroaki Ohfuji, Shinsuke Okimoto, Takehiro Kunimoto, Futoshi Isobe, Hitoshi Sumiya, Kazuo Komatsu, Tetsuo Irifune

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Nano-polycrystalline diamond (NPD) is a super-hard pure polycrystalline aggregate of nano-diamonds and has a characteristic microtexture composed of a mixture of granular and lamellar crystals. We investigated the origin of the unique microtexture and the influence of the crystallinity of initial graphite sources on the resulting microtexture of NPDs. Polycrystalline graphite rods used for NPD synthesis were found to consist of coke-derived relatively large crystals and pitch-derived nanocrystalline particles. Upon conversion to NPD, the former are converted to cubic and hexagonal diamond mixtures by the martensitic transformation and left a lamellar texture behind, while the latter transform to granular nano-diamonds by diffusion-controlled nucleation and subsequent crystal growth, which initiate preferentially at lattice defects and crystal surfaces. A clear correlation between the crystallite size of the initial graphite and the grain size of the granular nano-diamonds in the NPDs was also found. Our results suggest that the average grain size and the relative abundance of lamellar domains in NPD can potentially be controlled by carefully choosing initial graphite sources based on their crystallinity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-552
Number of pages10
JournalPhysics and Chemistry of Minerals
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jul


  • Crystallite size
  • Graphite rods
  • High-pressure experiments
  • Nano-polycrystalline diamond


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