Ultrafast shock synthesis of nanocarbon from a liquid precursor

Michael R. Armstrong*, Rebecca K. Lindsey, Nir Goldman, Michael H. Nielsen, Elissaios Stavrou, Laurence E. Fried, Joseph M. Zaug, Sorin Bastea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Carbon nanoallotropes are important nanomaterials with unusual properties and promising applications. High pressure synthesis has the potential to open new avenues for controlling and designing their physical and chemical characteristics for a broad range of uses but it remains little understood due to persistent conceptual and experimental challenges, in addition to fundamental physics and chemistry questions that are still unresolved after many decades. Here we demonstrate sub-nanosecond nanocarbon synthesis through the application of laser-induced shock-waves to a prototypical organic carbon-rich liquid precursor—liquid carbon monoxide. Overlapping large-scale molecular dynamics simulations capture the atomistic details of the nanoparticles’ formation and evolution in a reactive environment and identify classical evaporation-condensation as the mechanism governing their growth on these time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article number353
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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