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Keywords:

  • catalysis;
  • nanodiamonds;
  • nano-onions;
  • phase transitions;
  • surface activation
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Onions are a girl's best friend: While catalyzing the oxidative dehydrogenation of n-butane, ultradispersed nanodiamonds (UDD) are transformed into onionlike carbon (OLC, see picture). This surface-activated bulk transformation from sp3- to sp2-hybridized carbon atoms is concomitant with an enhanced product selectivity to the desired butenes. In addition, the synthesis of OLC is achieved at temperatures 600 K lower than reported so far.