Sciencemadness Discussion Board

Make diamonds in the microwave?

FrankRizzo - 17-10-2005 at 17:39

While browsing through the amsci microwave experiments site, I came across a link where the author claims to produce diamonds using a microwave oven, charcoal briquettes, and hold on....peanut butter. LOL

Now, my first impression is that this is a joke, but really, would it be possible to produce diamonds from just superheated carbon? I was under the impression that diamond formation required heat AND immense pressure.

Looking through the rest of the site reveals that it's some pseudo-scientific bullshit artist's creation, but I'm still tempted to try the experiment anyway..LOL.

Making diamonds in the microwave / Joe Champion Recipe [Do not do this experiment without competent adult supervision!]:


Using a pyrex microwave cooking dish with lid, place two charcoal brickets covered with 4 ounces of peanut butter inside. Microwave on high for 60 minutes at 10 minute intercals.


When cool enough to handle, take the dish outdoors and place on top of an unlit barbque grill. Remove the lid form the dish and saturate the charcoal and residue with charcoal lighter fluid. Light the charcoal (Note: At this time the diamonds are made, this procedure is reducing the excess carbon to ash.)


At this time you should have a dish full of a gray/black soot. Carefully scrape this soot into a dark colored dish and gently wash. The ash will wash away leaving the diamonds you've produced.

If you decide to experiment with recipes other than the one above, do so with competent adult supervision and in extremely well ventilated areas or outdoors. Joe Champion has released the recipe above due to its safety and lack of possible toxicity in your kitchen


The_Davster - 17-10-2005 at 17:53

Worth an experiment just for kicks, but that site and all its links are heavily laden with pseudo-science...

Hudson's research has led him to believe that ingesting the manna enabled the preists to approach the Ark of the Covenant without being killed.


He will explain his theories about the Essenes and why he thinks Mary was given the white powders of gold in preparation for the conception and birth of Jesus.


Make and Drink Crystaline Water Molecules Loaded With ELECTRONS


However, when this material is properly prepared and mixed with lesser metals such as lead, a transformation appears and macro quantities of gold and platinum are produced.


in today's water molecules are SMALLER and CAN'T HOLD the additional donor ELECTRONS (from OXYGEN) needed to make them work!! As a result, VIRUSES and BACTERIA are mutating out of control... CAUSING almost ANY problem you can name! Our patented method STRETCHES TODAY'S WATER MOLECULES... so they can take on more donor electrons!

Need I say more.:P

IrC - 17-10-2005 at 17:53

Diamonds were being made by electric means in the 60's, and in the 80's a japanese scientist rose to fame by using a standard kitchen microwave and graphite powder to make diamond dust. Everything you read is not quackery just because you do not know about it beforehand. You will find with just a little searching that this is not so. You can make diamonds in the microwave using anything which contains carbon, pressure is not needed. It has been done repeatedly by most major scientific institutions for over 20 years, and yes they have written about it.]

I would not follow the plans on that site though. It is sad that people will take a sound scientific idea and surround it with quackery. Diamonds can burn, and burning the excess carbon to get at the diamond dust is not very smart. If very small amounts at a time of fine graphite dust is microwaved you will end up with diamond dust without the seperation problems. This method could not grow large diamonds. Deposition methods or heat and pressure will however.

[Edited on 18-10-2005 by IrC]

Blind Angel - 17-10-2005 at 20:12

I was looking a the new method of making dimaond using MW, heat and CH4/H2 mix, i don't remember the name, it's the one used to grow big diamond today, you might want to look.

I'll try to find it and post it, it's pretty common, somebody has surely already hear of it.

Edit: Got it: CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition)

[Edited on 18-10-2005 by Blind Angel]

FrankRizzo - 17-10-2005 at 21:52

I suppose this might actually be feasible. Granted, it's only going to produce diamond dust but it's still fun nonetheless. I suppose the peanut butter is just used for the fat content which is a nice target for the microwaves.

Here's a link to that CVD process that Blind Angel is talking about :

IrC - 17-10-2005 at 22:24

The rangeguide site is one of the stranger quackery type sites I have seen in a while. Some searching would likely find some decent sites out there with real information on microwaves and diamonds. The peanut butter does not seem like a great idea (but can work), the scientist in japan who made diamond dust used very pure graphite dust. Some of the links on that site make me wonder, like the one talking about the energy machine for improved health where they mention patents by dial as if this gives credentials. Looking at the patents tells a different story, I have no idea how tesla turbine technology gives anyone specail information on making multiwave machines (which I think are also quackery). Even scarier is the cult overtones with links to all the wonderful ways you can spend your money there on all the "miracles" they have invented. I think the only miracle they have is the fact that anyone would send them a penny.

You can always tell a scam site by the choice of links to spend money and the lack of any real technical information. Of course this is due to the need to protect their "secrets". As I mentioned before it is sad to see a small technical truth altered into money making scams by adding a wealth of gibberish in place of real science.

I forgot to mention but the diamond dust has real world application in coatings for drills and cutting wheels, and also abrasives. There is actually real money in microwave diamond dust.

[Edited on 18-10-2005 by IrC]

12AX7 - 18-10-2005 at 00:21

Originally posted by rogue chemist

Hudson's research has led him to believe that ingesting the manna enabled the preists to approach the Ark of the Covenant without being killed.

Hmm Dave Hudson? As in ORME?


denatured - 18-10-2005 at 09:44

My brother told me that funny story here

EDIT : even if you make diamonds that way ... it will be very bad quality and sold cheaply.

[Edited on 18-10-2005 by alnokta]

jpsmith123 - 19-10-2005 at 15:24

Here's an interesting patent regarding diamond film by a CVD process that uses a water-alcohol vapor mixture.

Apparently the file is too big to upload here. The patent number is: 5418018.

[Edited on 19-10-2005 by jpsmith123]

Quince - 23-10-2005 at 19:01

Did anyone here actually try any of these methods? Diamond dust is very useful for tools such as used for jewellery and glass work.

Hermes_Trismegistus - 24-10-2005 at 03:54

Robert Wentworf Jr. of the GE superpressure team was able to make diamonds out of peanut butter (as a lark) but I really don't see this internet quack panning out.

I don't know much about this CVD process except a blurb in my chemistry textbook that mentioned it is now being used to create the most high quality tweeters for audiophiles! And that seems rather a peculiar use indeed.

And after doing a little research on the aforementioned Dave Hudson; I can now confidently propose that

Dave Hudson + ORMUS = Nutbar Extraordinaire!

[Edited on 24-10-2005 by Hermes_Trismegistus]

IrC - 24-10-2005 at 10:59

Wasn't the "Nutbar Extraordinaire!" the things I used to eat while climbing around in the Grand Canyon? IIRC they were very tasty!

[Edited on 25-10-2005 by IrC]

Quince - 24-10-2005 at 13:58

Originally posted by Hermes_Trismegistus
is now being used to create the most high quality tweeters for audiophiles!

As an audiophile, I can tell you that the best tweeters were created before the end of the 1970s.

uber luminal - 24-10-2005 at 16:00

I really hope this isn't an april fools thing, which I am arguing.

CVD doesnt make any sense for making diamonds, unless you 1. already HAVE a diamond and just want to make it larger, 2. use a gaseous chemical reaction that results in carbon as a precipitate, with a catalyst that forces the ZnS structure, 3. (2. would also need this), use an atmosphere that was ideal to force carbon into a zinc blende structure.

my vote is that this microwave thing is bunk. How would you even test the resulting dust?

I don't think you can do your own CVD in a microwave... at least not with carbon. You would actually need to decrease the internal pressure quite a bit to get mobile carbon atoms.

Carbon will want to form into the most stable state. And for this magnitude PT I would predict carbon nodules or even amorphous carbon would be the resultant dust, if at standard pressure. But not diamonds. Hell, if this was honestly true, Diamond abrasion tools would the same price as other abrasives.

IrC - 24-10-2005 at 21:08

I clearly remember all the articles in journals, newspapers, etc. in the 80's but have looked around a while and cannot find anything useful to post here on the subject, but a Japanese scientist reached fame with carbon and microwaves. Too bad the internet was unborn at the time as then there may still be things around to read. I do not have time to search microfilm records but you never know.

While you are waiting for astounding revealations from me (or not), here are some patents to read:

PAT. NO. Title
6,461,692 Chemical vapor deposition method and chemical vapor deposition apparatus
6,342,195 Method for synthesizing solids such as diamond and products produced thereby
H1,792 Selection of crystal orientation in diamond film chemical vapor deposition
5,882,740 Method of producing diamond of controlled quality and product produced thereby
5,863,606 Method for producing diamond coated member
5,840,427 Method for making corrosion resistant electrical components
5,800,879 Deposition of high quality diamond film on refractory nitride
5,624,719 Process for synthesizing diamond in a vapor phase
5,571,616 Ultrasmooth adherent diamond film coated article and method for making same
5,571,615 Ultrasmooth adherent diamond film coated article and method for making same
5,540,904 Isotopically-pure carbon-12 or carbon-13 polycrystalline diamond
5,510,157 Method of producing diamond of controlled quality
5,415,126 Method of forming crystalline silicon carbide coatings at low temperatures
5,380,516 Process for synthesizing diamond in a vapor phase
4,985,227 Method for synthesis or diamond

FrankRizzo - 24-10-2005 at 21:22

I’m sorry, but being an audiophile is just another type of quackery. Since the listening environment is a creation of your own brain, your experience is nothing but subjective. If you've convinced yourself that those '60's "reference" tweeters are producing the best sound, you'll hear it plain and simple.

..and now back to your regularly scheduled programming...

Originally posted by Quince
Originally posted by Hermes_Trismegistus
is now being used to create the most high quality tweeters for audiophiles!

As an audiophile, I can tell you that the best tweeters were created before the end of the 1970s.

Quince - 25-10-2005 at 00:35

Nonsense. First of all, haven't you ever heard of blind testing? That completely eliminates any possible subjectivity/psychological bias.

As for the speakers I mentioned, you all-too-quick-to-spit-out-your-uninformed-opinion ignoramus, it has nothing to do with personal preference (I've never even heard them; indeed, very few people actually have). I was talking about the physically most accurate speakers, which modulate a DC glow discharge to create sound (for example, US4219705). I've seen the measurements of frequency response and the waterfall plots, and nothing since has come close. Of course, given the use of helium, it wasn't very practical, thus the short life in the market. The point is that they are the perfect speakers (short of a direct neural link to the auditory nerve) since the virtual lack of inertia of the plasma is incomparable to any other sound driver that has been tried and has to compensate for it.

Of course, there is plenty of quackery in audiophilia, much fueled by snake oil marketing practices. But, there is peer-reviewed research showing that the traditional summary measures of distortion, THD (total harmonic distortion), and IMD (intermodulation distortion), in general do not correlate with perceptions (in blind tests), which shows that though these two figures have been minimized in modern equipment, there's much more to be done to improve results -- there isn't even a perceptually significant metric for audio quality yet (again, with perception measured in blind tests, so subjectivity is eliminated); it's no accident that the Audio Engineering Society isn't defunct yet. Just like a non-blind listening test isn't a valid test, neither is an instrument-based measurement, unless that measurement has been shown to correlate with blind listening tests. The analogy is the drug industry -- you always have human trials, you can't just measure some chemistry of the substance.

[Edited on 25-10-2005 by Quince]

IrC - 25-10-2005 at 15:50

In the 60's Popular Electronics ran an article about building a flame loudspeaker, I remember trying. A torch flame between two electrodes, with some real crappy glass in there to turn the flame Na yellow (the crappier the glass the better) to ionize the flame, and two tungsten electrodes were wired to a plate modulation transformer, and two more could be added as high voltage bias to establish a current flow of high voltage in the flame. Then you cranked up your old tube type stereo with a 45 of Jimi Hendrix as loud as it would go and fed it into the low Z side of the transformer. It sounded like crap with momentary bursts of really good audio. Come to think of it my stereo sounded like just as much crap with it's speakers but nobody noticed.

Hey, it WAS the 60's don't you know.

As an afterthought, by the late 60's I built two speaker cabinets 3 feet by 4 feet by 6 feet high, one inch thick wood, many 15 inch, 8 inch, and 6 inch speakers and 4 Jensen tweeter horns, porting, insulation, crossovers, and whatever the hell else I could find at B.A. in K.C.M.O., each of two cabinets identical. Then my stereo no longer sounded like crap. But the police were there many times. I still remember those tweeters and no, I don't think any of my stereo stuff today comes close to those 80W horns. In fact they keep cracking the piezo's, I have replaced the modern horns several times. I bet any amount of money that whoever still has those old cabinets can still use them and the same 60's horns are in there.

Quince - 25-10-2005 at 16:38

Originally posted by IrC
It sounded like crap with momentary bursts of really good audio. Come to think of it my stereo sounded like just as much crap with it's speakers but nobody noticed.

Well, you can't just throw stuff together and assume that a current flow through the gas is all you need. You have to calculate exactly what properties the plasma needs to reproduce sound right. That's why it took a plasma researcher (who wrote the patent I mentioned). For example, the discharge thickness needs to be less than the shortest wavelength to be rerpoduced, the shape must be designed for the proper sound field radiative pattern, the thermal relaxation must vary in such a way that integrating over each region with a different frequency peak gives a flat response, an operating point needs to be chosen with a good tradeoff between power and distortion, etc.
And no transformers in the signal path. Plenty of tubes that can drive it directly (I'm using 4X150A, small forced-air cooling transmitter tetrodes).

IrC - 25-10-2005 at 20:50

You are right no doubt, but 40 years ago the data was a little hard to come by. Not much was known, and what little there was resided in secret labs as the entire subject stemmed from a classified project to introduce jet exaust noise in the burning output (audio modulation out of phase) in attempts to make low to no noise stealth jet engines. So their electrodes were modulating the jet exaust aided by a fuel additive which made an ion rich exaust, in the hopes that sensors hearing the exaust would then modulate it 180 out to reduce the jet noise. It was not public information, other than the IDEA of flame loudspeakers and the hope of making quiet commercial airliners, which also were in the mystery world. Actually, the years I spent reading all available information on physics and plasmas stemmed from my curiosity of the old article about the speaker idea. I wish I knew then what I know now. Don't we all?

Quince - 25-10-2005 at 21:18

Actually, nowadays it's possible to avoid the simplifying approximations Hill made in the patent calculations, and do numeric simulations to figure out how to optimize this. It could start as simple as throwing in the equations he started from in the patent into Matlab+Maple or Mathematica, though I've been too lazy to do it, and would rather spend the time playing with the plasma, trial and error... I'm reminded of how glad I was to have my TI-89 calculator during calculus exams a few years back. The prof didn't know calculators had symbolic solvers, LOL. Those were the days...

[Edited on 26-10-2005 by Quince]

FrankRizzo - 26-10-2005 at 19:35

Originally posted by Quince
As for the speakers I mentioned, you all-too-quick-to-spit-out-your-uninformed-opinion ignoramus, </snip>
[Edited on 25-10-2005 by Quince]

Guilty as charged. Sorry 'bout that bud, it's a knee jerk reaction when someone claims to be an 'audiophile.' Had I known that you were talking about plasma loudspeakers...

I imagine that you've seen this site:Ulrich Haumann's DIY PLASMA TWEETER

Replacement plasma cells for the old Ionovac (not Hill Plasmatronics thou):

Quince - 27-10-2005 at 00:35

Sorry about calling you an ignoramus.

The ionic speakers you mentioned have five problems due to the use of a corona discharge instead of a glow discharge as Hill did:
a) noisier
b) more IMD
c) uneven frequency response due to lack of the control I mentioned in my post above
d) only usable as tweeters (the glow discharge can go down into the mids)
e) much more O3 and NOx (and possibly more UV)
Moreover, the use of RF to drive the discharge makes for a huge amout of interference to nearby equipment. Nowadays it seems only the German company Acapella uses this technology in their $2500 a piece tweeters.

BTW, there existed a very few plasma headphones. There's a description with graphs here:
With headphones, it's reasonable to cover the full frequency range. These things had better numbers than the current king of the hill, the Stax Omega II electrostatic headphones ($2000, but I've auditioned them and it's worth it, just that the amplifier's not very good, there's a better and DIY design here).
I'm guessing Hill's glow discharge approach will also work with headphones, but the issue of heat needs to be addressed unless you want to cook your ears.

A completely different type of corona discharge driver was made as a prototype by Nelson Pass, and put Pass in emergency due to the huge O3 produced. Basically it was a grid of corona wires creating a vertical plane of ionized air, sitting between two electrode grids driven differentially. Kind of like an electrostatic speaker but with ionized air instead of a membrane. This has an advantage over the Plasmatronics in that it can cover the whole frequency range without needing 10+ kW, but it obviously is not very practical. I'm speculating here, but this should be doable with a glow discharge by using a large array of microhollow cathode discharges. Unfortunately, I don't have anything like the resources to make a prototype...

[Edited on 27-10-2005 by Quince]

DrP - 16-11-2005 at 07:53

I very much doubt, hmm... in fact i think i'm certain that this will not work at all..........:(

...However, has anyone actually tried this yet for a laugh????;):D:P

Quince - 17-11-2005 at 11:09

What won't work? A series of things were mentioned here. We can't read your mind, so be more clear with your comments, or don't post at all.

DrP - 18-11-2005 at 03:50

I was talking about Frank's initial post.

Chill out man. :cool: :P

neophyte - 13-12-2005 at 07:16

After reading the above post I have decided to throw in my two cents worth. I have studied diamonds quiet extensively , and it is of note that in most instances either chromium or titinium are found in close proximity . While the heat and pressure method has proven to be viable to make big diamonds , I have a theory that diamonds could be basically produced on your table top ( microwave or what the hell ever ). Diamond is destroyed by chromium trioxide at 100° C , if we extrapulate that newtons third law follows in all things (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) then from my junk science calculations then diamonds must be able to be created at close to the same energy as it takes to destroy them . The catalyst would seem to be a compound of chromium , and a much lower temp than is perscribed in the high pressure method. When one studies the kimberlite pipes it is evident that after a certain depth the diamonds seem to play out , which would indicate that the temp is not near as high as the artificial method used to produce them . Also of note is the fact that diamonds come in more than just the cubic system , from plates to isomorphic . Also if interest is the inclusions that are found in diamond crystals , some of which while rare would give the indication that there is more than one way that C is converted to diamond . Interest is also generated in the fact that the largest percentages of diamond are C12 with a smaller amound of C13 , yet that certain diamonds have been found with larger amounds of C13 and are harder than the traditional C12 diamond . Hopefully someone will figure out how to make diamonds on thier desk top , however I am still working on the silicates : I know that I am out of my league with diamonds.

neutrino - 13-12-2005 at 14:28

>Diamond is destroyed by chromium trioxide at 100° C , if we extrapulate that newtons third law follows in all things

Sorry, this isn't quite going to fly. This is like saying that if we burn a lump of coal, we can get it back by compressing the CO<sub>2</sub> formed and heating...

neophyte - 13-12-2005 at 20:34

Interestingly enough CO2 and CO are the basic feed materials in the use of high pressure diamonds . So that does not lead one to the conclusion that it would not also make coal . Coal is also a differnt item than graphite as coal is composed of many aromic hydrocarbons including methane interestingly enough while graphite ( a common inclusion in diamonds ) is close to pure C. In the normal production of synthetic diamonds an activated H molecule is injected into a plasma with methane , Though graphite has also been used as a feed material Also of note is the fact that CO and CO2 have both been used as the feed material in the freedman synthesis : though the tempture of that sythesis was much higher approaching 700°C . British patent 1,476,313 and once you have a source of C, the O could be stripped off and that would lead right back to the original GE patent . However as stated before by myself this whole idea is just a postulation on my part .

NO , that does not get back to making coal , however if I recall correctly that is supposed to be an anerobic process using hydrocarbons from plant materials , and there is surely a release of H molecules during oxidation , if just in the release of H20. And once again I am not sure if anyone has sythesized coal , so how can we be totally certain how it is manufactured .

neophyte - 13-12-2005 at 21:06

Quince - 5-7-2006 at 04:40

Hey, I took the deflection yoke ferrite core from a monitor's picture tube, and it wonderfully heats up in the microwave, certainly better than the smaller ferrites I've tried.

franklyn - 21-7-2006 at 10:20

How about ball milling a coal slurry,

with free hydrogen as a by product !


simple - 26-7-2006 at 16:30

Apparently Russians have try to make diamond dust successfully by shooting high power (speed) graphite projectile in to the graphite wall. Energy of the impact (high temperature and pressure) produced diamond dust. But I guess not much of it...

Quince - 26-7-2006 at 18:16

LMAO, such a Russian solution.

Rich_Lather - 11-8-2006 at 13:44

Diamond synthesis interested me a few years ago, but the only form that I could afford was the CVD type of synthesis. Alpha diamond has been in and out of the news with their synthesis of diamonds for the past few years, and I have read their patents.

Their setup, which they are highly protective of, seems similar to a farnsworth fusor

off of

The reaction vessel and the vacuum pump seem to be the most expensive parts of the initial setup (along with the gieger counter if you so wish). Have any of you looked into or tried either CVD or fusors?

I might add that CVD is a very low pressure operation using plasma, not high pressure, high heat.

[Edited on 11-8-2006 by Rich_Lather]

Quince - 11-8-2006 at 20:11

Fusors are dangerous. The lead shielding from gamma is not going to stop much of neutrons; you need more shielding for that.

12AX7 - 11-8-2006 at 21:30

Get something with a lot of barns.

I forget what common metals are good for that. Hafnium obviously isn't very common or cheap. Maybe surround it with wax (1H content) and boric acid.


not_important - 11-8-2006 at 22:14

Note that the neutron absorbtion cross sction depends on the energy of the neutron; thus as 12AX7 said you want light atomic weight stuff to drop neutron energy and stuff that has a large cross section for thermal neutrons.

Lithum and boron are the common and cheap absorbers, cadmium is good, sodium and managanese have spikes in the few hundred to several KeV range. Xenon135 is real good in the slow to thermal range, so is gadolinium.

Section 4 of this looks as if it might be useful


In many of the neutron absorption reactions, gamma radiation is given off. You want your hi-Z gamma shielding outside the neutron shielding

[Edited on 12-8-2006 by not_important]

Rich_Lather - 12-8-2006 at 07:54

I hardly think neutron emissions is a prohibiting factor. Do it remotely. Do it in your basement or out in your storage shed, or jacket the reaction vessel with a solution of boric acid solution.

Quince - 14-8-2006 at 11:41

I think some people use water or wax bricks.