While Tequila Diamonds almost sounds like the name of a Latin stripper - and I'm sure it is somewhere, it's also two words that have set the scientific community on its ear. It turns out that Mexican scientists have created diamonds... from tequila!
A team of Mexican scientists found that the heated vapor from 80-proof (40% alcohol) tequila blanco, when deposited on a silicon or stainless steel substrate, can form diamond films.
The key to the surprising discovery is tequila's ratio of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon, which lies within the "diamond growth region." The resulting diamond films could have inexpensive commercial applications as electrical insulators.
In their experiments, the scientists grew the diamond
films using "pulsed liquid injection chemical vapor deposition
techniques." In a specially made device, they heated the liquid tequila to
280 ºC (536 ºF) to transform it into a gas. In a reaction chamber, they
heated the gas to 800 ºC (1470 ºF) to break down its molecular structure,
resulting in solid diamond crystals of about 100-400 nm. The crystals fell
onto silicon or stainless steel trays, accumulating in a thin, uniform
film. The high temperatures removed all of the tequila´s carbon impurities
to result in pure diamonds.
Sigh... What a waste of tequila.