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Reasons to be Proud (R2bP): Congratulations to Dr Jaco Olivier and Prof Jan Neethling from the Centre for HRTEM on their recent publication in the prestigious Nature Materials*. The paper has caused quite a stir in the scientific community, with a commentary in Nature Materials news & views** and over one thousand views on LinkedIn. This is a true testament to the quality of research at Nelson Mandela University. Well done Dr. Olivier and Prof. Neethling, we are proud of you!

The paper*, entitled Imaging the atomic structure and local chemistry of platelets in natural type Ia diamond, is the result of collaboration between scientists at the Centre for HRTEM and scientists at the University of the Free State, Wits University, Oxford University, JEOL UK and the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research.

Defects in diamond are of interest because of their effect on the optical and electrical properties of diamond which has sought after applications in fields such as quantum computing. According to Professor Jannik Meyer** from the Physics of Nanostructured Materials Group at the University of Vienna, Austria, the paper has finally determined the structure of the platelet defect in diamond, which has been “subject to a significant controversy for more than half a century”.

Prof. Meyer went on to say that the “work of Olivier and colleagues is a remarkable step forward for characterizing this challenging material, and it also highlights a promising avenue to study defects in diamond where the identification of the platelet structure can be seen as a starting point”.    


*Olivier EJ, Neethling JH, Kroon RE, Naidoo SR, Allen CS, Sawada H, van Aken PA and Kirkland AI Imaging the atomic structure and local chemistry of platelets in natural type Ia diamond Nature Materials 17, 243–248 (2018)

**Meyer J Diamond Platelet Structure: Resolving the controversy Nature Materials 17, 210–211 (2018)

Contact information
Prof Jan Neethling
Tel: +27 41 504 2143