Is there anything this wonder tonic can’t do?
Now a team of researchers led by Javier Morales of the University of Nueva Leon near Monterrey in Mexico have shown that ordinary tequila does the job nicely. They injected the heated vapour from 80-proof “tequila blanco” into a low-pressure chamber. Measurements confirmed that the carbon deposited on test surfaces had a diamond structure (www.arxiv.org/abs/0806.1485). “Some kinds of tequila seem naturally to have the right mix of atoms,” says Morales. Other forms of alcohol have also worked, although it’s not clear if this is faster or more reliable than using common precursors such as acetone.