It has all the trappings of a twenty-first century alchemical experiment: converting a simple, almost worthless element, hydrogen, into a valuable and lauded commodity, graphene. Of course, researchers at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, DC, Ivan Naumov and Russell Hemley, have not transmuted hydrogen atoms into carbon, but they have demonstrated that under extreme pressure hydrogen can form layers of atoms hooked together in the hexagonal array familiar as the graphene structure of carbon. Naumov and Hemley suggest that their results indicate that chemical bonding occurs over a much broader range of conditions than people had previously considered. "The structural effects of that chemical bonding under extreme conditions can be very different than that observed under the ordinary conditions that are familiar to us,” Hemley explains.
Hydrogen to graphene structure