ISLAMABAD   -  Diamond could conduct electricity like metals when it is deformed to strains at the nanoscale, according to predictions from a study by an international team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA. Using computer simulations, the team, which also includes researchers from the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech), Russia, has shown as an early proof-of-concept that mechanical strain applied to nanoscale diamond needles could reversibly alter their geometry and hence their electrical properties, giving them a metal-like conductivity at room temperature and pressure. 

The study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, could lead to future applications in power electronics used in a wide variety of machines from cars and electrical appliances to smart grids; highly efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs); optical devices; and quantum sensing, which enhances and improves what sensors can currently do.