Novel routes for diamond formation in interstellar ices and meteoritic parent bodies

A. Kouchi, H. Nakano, Y. Kimura, C. Kaito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


We have identified new formation routes of diamond in interstellar clouds and parent bodies of carbonaceous chondrites in laboratory experiments. The diamond precursor nucleated under UV photolysis of interstellar ice mixtures in molecular clouds and grew with further UV irradiation in diffuse clouds. The present study supports the occurrence of diamonds in interstellar clouds and suggests that diamond is ubiquitous in space. We also performed experiments on the processes of aqueous alteration and subsequent thermal metamorphism of organic materials formed in molecular clouds, and the results were consistent with the formation of diamonds by this process in the parent bodies of carbonaceous chondrites. The various characteristics of nanodiamonds in chondrites and interplanetary dust are well explained by these new formation routes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L129-L132
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Jun 20


  • Asteroids
  • Dust
  • Extinction
  • ISM: clouds
  • Methods: laboratory
  • Minor planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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