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Hydrothermal Carbon: A Review from Carbon in Herkimer ‘Diamonds’ to that in Real Diamonds

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Advanced Ceramics III

Abstract

On the occasion of Professor S. Sōmiya’scareer change, it is appropriate to consider the formation of carbon (whether amorphous, as graphite, or as diamond) by processes that seem to be basically hydrothermal. Sōmiya’s commitment to this mode of synthesis and processing for oxides has resulted in many useful contributions for which he has been duly recognized. When we met, we often talked of a common interest about which neither of us did anything, namely hydrothermal carbon and particularly diamond formation by this mode. This is not a new subject, and over the past 25 years from laboratories all over the world there has been a consistent convergence on the reality of precipitation of carbon from the system C—H— O—Si. This chapter attempts to review the evidence, from amorphous carbon (anthraxolite) forming simultaneously with quartz crystals (such as Herkimer ‘diamonds’) under obviously hydrothermal conditions to the formation of diamond itself at depth in the earth. The next few years should bring considerable clarification and acceptance of the concept of diamond synthesis under most natural conditions, but it is unlikely that this knowledge will change the present metal-graphite mode of commercial production of synthesized diamond. Better understanding of the solubility, transport, and structure of carbon in oxides and silicates is needed.

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DeVries, R.C. (1990). Hydrothermal Carbon: A Review from Carbon in Herkimer ‘Diamonds’ to that in Real Diamonds. In: Sōmiya, S. (eds) Advanced Ceramics III. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-009-0763-8_10

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