Diamond Nitrogen Impurities

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Nitrogen is the most common impurity in natural diamonds, sometimes by as much as 1% by mass. Recently formed diamonds, however, have very little nitrogen content. A major way synthetic diamonds are distinguished from natural ones is on the basis of nitrogen permeation. It takes long periods and high pressures for the nitrogen atoms to be squeezed into the diamond lattice. Research on the kinetics of the of the nitrogen aggregation at the University of Reading have suggested that a certain type of diamond, Ia diamonds, spend 200-2000 million years in the upper mantle1.

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