Diamond is an effective electrical insulator, but this may not always be the case, according to a new study by MIT and NTU in Singapore. The team calculated that deforming a diamond nanoneedle would change its electrical conductivity from an insulator to a semiconductor, then to a highly conductive metal – and then back at random. < / P > < p > material strain seems to be something that all walks of life usually want to avoid, but in some cases, it can make the material better. For example, strained silicon makes it easier for electrons to pass through it, increasing the switching speed of transistors by 35%. But the key to this is to apply enough strain to affect the arrangement of atoms in the crystal lattice, but not so large that the lattice itself is destroyed. < / P > < p > the difficulty of electrons moving in a material is measured by the & quot; band gap of the material, and the larger the band gap, the more difficult it is for electrons to pass through. At 5.6 EV, the diamond usually has an ultra wide band gap, making it an insulator. But in the new study, the researchers found a way to strain the diamond to change its band gap. < p > < p > using computer simulations of quantum mechanics and mechanical deformation, the team found that diamond nanoneedles could be bent to varying degrees of strain with diamond probes. The greater the strain applied, the narrower the band gap until it completely disappears just before the needle will break. At this point, diamond is metallized and transformed into a good conductor. < p > < p > & quot; we found that the band gap can be reduced from 5.6 ev to 0, said Ju Li, the corresponding author of the study. &If you can continuously change from 5.6 ev to 0 EV, you can cover all the band gaps. Through strain engineering, diamond can have a silicon band gap, which is the most widely used semiconductor, or gallium nitride band gap, which is commonly used in LED. It can even be used as an infrared detector, or the entire range of light from infrared to the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. &The team said the new technology could lead to a range of interesting applications. For example, solar cells can be enabled to capture a wider range of light frequencies on a single device – a work that currently requires stacks of different materials. The technology can also make new quantum detectors and sensors. The report shows that the number of app store purchases soared in the first half of this year due to the impact of covid-19

By ibmwl