Angewandte Chemie International Edition
© WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
August 30, 2004
Editorial Note: Diamond Synthesis in Doubt
Last year in Angewandte Chemie and in the Journal of the American Chemical Society Quianwang Chen et al. reported diamond syntheses from MgCO3-Na and CO2-(Li, Na, K), respectively.[1,2] The authors have apologized for failing to cross-reference the papers and for manipulation of some of the data (see the second paragraph in the Correspondence from Z. Lou and Q. Chen on page 4700).
In addition, the results reported in both publications are heavily criticized by H. Sachdev: The details of the reaction conditions are not reported in sufficient detail for the work to be repeated and the characterizations (or even proof) of the final products are not without doubt; furthermore, the characterization of intermediate products, important for the postulated reaction mechanism, is missing. Even if a diamond synthesis is, in principle, possible under the conditions presumably present in the reaction system used by Chen et al. then its actual realization remains doubtful. Chen and Lou give a series of arguments in their Reply in order to support their diamond synthesis, however, they close with the comment "we could produce diamonds from time to time in MgCO3-Na and CO2-(Li, Na, K) system" (italicized by me), which naturally casts doubts about the reproducibility. Hopefully this Note and the two Correspondences will lead to a rapid resolution of the problem of whether or not diamonds can be prepared by the method of Chen et al.
- Z. S. Lou, Q. W. Chen, W. Wang, Y. T. Qian, Y. F. Zhang, Angew. Chem. 2003, 115, 4639; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 4501.
- Z. S. Lou, Q. W. Chen, Y. F. Zhang, W. Wang, Y. T. Qian, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2003, 125, 9302.
- H. Sachdev, Angew. Chem. 2004, 116, 4800, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 4696.
- Z. S. Lou, Q. W. Chen, Angew. Chem. 2004, 116, 4804, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 4700.