The key difference between Q Carbon and Diamond is that Q carbon (or quenched carbon) has a random structure, whereas diamond has a diamond cubic crystal structure.
Q carbon and diamond are allotropes of carbon. Allotropes are different structural forms of the same chemical element. The other common allotrope of carbon is graphite. Moreover, diamond is considered as the hardest material on earth. However, according to the latest researches, Q carbon has replaced diamond as the hardest substance.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Q Carbon
3. What is Diamond
4. Side by Side Comparison – Q Carbon vs Diamond in Tabular Form
What is Q Carbon?
Q carbon (quenched carbon) is an allotrope of carbon. The material was discovered in 2015. It is a ferromagnetic, electrically conductive material. Furthermore, this material glows when we expose it to low levels of energy. Compared to diamond, it is inexpensive to make. According to some recent researches, Q carbon is harder than diamond.
Furthermore, this material has a random amorphous structure, and it has sp2 hybridized carbon atoms and sp3 hybridized carbon atoms as well. Furthermore, its production process involves melting carbon (using nanosecond laser pulses) and quenching rapidly. Sometimes, this gives a mixture of Q carbon and diamond.
Properties of Q Carbon
- Non-crystalline structure
- Mixed sp2 and sp3 bonding
- Unique hardness
- Conduct electricity
- Conduct heat
- Smaller bond length than that of diamond
- Can be semiconductor or metallic
- Glows even at low energy levels
What is Diamond?
Diamond is an allotrope of carbon and considered as the hardest material that naturally occurs on earth. Its structure is crystalline, and it has a diamond cubic crystal structure. Moreover, it has the highest thermal conductivity of any natural material. Diamond forms at very high temperatures and pressures in the mantle of the Earth (100 miles below from the surface).
Properties of Diamond
- Mostly brown or yellow in colour, but the jewelry industry favours colourless diamond
- Perfect octahedral cleavage in 4 directions
- Contains sp3 hybridized carbon atoms
- When compared to engineering materials, toughness is poor.
- Exceptionally high yield strength
- Excellent electrical insulators
- Lipophilic and hydrophobic
- At room temperature, diamond does not react with any chemical reagent
What is the Difference Between Q Carbon and Diamond?
Q carbon is quenched carbon, which is an allotrope of carbon while diamond, also an allotrope of carbon, is considered as the hardest material that naturally occurs on earth. The key difference between Q Carbon and diamond is that Q carbon has a random structure, whereas diamond has a diamond cubic crystal structure. These structures make Q carbon the hardest material; meanwhile, diamond is the hardest material naturally occurring on Earth.
A noteworthy difference between Q Carbon and diamond is that the Q carbon is a synthetic allotrope while diamond occurs naturally. Moreover, in Q carbon, both sp2 and sp3 hybridized carbon atoms can be seen while, in diamond, only sp3 hybridized carbon atoms are present. So, we can take this also as a difference between Q Carbon and diamond. When considering the formation, for Q carbon, first we should melt carbon (using nanosecond laser pulses) and quench rapidly to form Q carbon whereas diamond forms at very high temperatures and pressures in the mantle of the Earth (100 miles below from the surface).
Summary – Q Carbon vs Diamond
In brief, Q carbon and diamond are allotropes of the chemical element carbon. The key difference between Q Carbon and diamond is that Q carbon has a random structure whereas diamond has a diamond cubic crystal structure. Moreover, Q Carbon is harder than diamond, but diamond is the hardest material that occur naturally on Earth.
1. Templeton, Graham. “Q-Carbon Is Harder than Diamond, Incredibly Simple to Make.” ExtremeTech, 11 Dec. 2015, Available here.
2. “Diamond.” Geology, Available here.
1. “Diamonds” By Swamibu – (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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