The following post has been submitted by “the Director”
(Please check out my blog for a more in-depth and complete version of this article at my blog the Electron Clusters Project: Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat Effect: A Process Using Carbon, Low Work Function Dopants, and Atomic Hydrogen for “Negative Electron Affinity” Diamond Synthesis.)
I don’t believe that Andrea Rossi has a single, sole, solitary catalyst and nor does the even more enigmatic me356. The complete picture, only now coming into focus, is much more interesting. In short, I propose that inside these LENR reactors a complex, dynamic interaction between atomic hydrogen, various forms of carbon, and additional doping elements (namely lithium among others) combine on a heated nickel surface to produce diamond structures. With an ultra low work function and Negative Electron Affinity, these diamonds produce negative hydrogen ions (protons with addition electrons) and various forms of Exotic Vacuum Objects (EVOs) or “strange radiation.” The final result is the triggering of cold fusion and excess heat.
Let’s start with basics. Me356 claimed to have used Ni 200 alloy nickel vaping wire which contains carbon and is documented to precipitate graphite. In addition to the fact that he may have stumbled onto the E-Cat effect after exposing nickel to hydrocarbons from coal gas, Andrea Rossi has typically used “carbonyl nickel” powder that contains carbon residue from the manufacturing process. What’s interesting is that for CVD diamond synthesis, nickel is the best out of a very short list of elements that can function as suitable substrates: with copper perhaps coming in second. The next ingredient needed is atomic hydrogen – which we know has been a critical component in every E-Cat reactor since this saga began. Now is when the action starts!
When atomic hydrogen plasma comes into contact with a nickel surface, protons impact the surface, instantly burrow into the lattice, and produce a shallow film of nickel hydride. Due to the melting temperature of nickel hydride being approximately 1150C (much lower than around 1450C for pure nickel) this surface layer can exist as a liquid. This nickel hydride and the showers of protons impact any carbon present. Regardless if the carbon has been precipitated from the nickel, deposited from a percent or two of hydrocarbon (methane or carbon monoxide) added to the plasma, or seeded with nano-diamond powder, the atomic hydrogen starts to break apart the graphite (sp2) bonds and convert them into diamond (sp3) bonds. The high percentage of atomic hydrogen along with the nickel hydride layer make sure that diamond structures are preferentially formed, rather than graphite.
The diamond structures that result can take many geometric forms, sometimes even spikes or needle like “whiskers” that can enhance electric fields. Importantly, due to the hydrogen present, they can be “doped” in such a way so their work function has been lowered and they posses a NEA or “negative electron affinity.” Additional elements added to the plasma such as lithium can also act as dopants: sometimes lowering the work function even further. During high temperature operation, the bonds of some number of the atoms doping the diamond surface can be broken. Interestingly, the presence of high temperature lithium vapor, hydrogen gas, and especially a continual plasma of atomic hydrogen or lithium can keep these emitter structures continually regenerated — adding atoms and molecules back to the surface.
The electrons, negative hydrogen ions (likely a class of EVOs in and of themselves), strange radiation, and other EVOs emitted by these diamond structures are what I think trigger LENR. The heat, light, radiation, and cycles of fracto-emission (EVOs generated when the embrittled nickel hydride surface fractures) keep the interior temperature high which sustains the operation of these emitters and keep their surfaces regenerated. This is a lively and constantly ongoing process!
Looking at the operation of the E-Cat and other LENR systems from this perspective offers many paths forward for replicators. The practical side of cold fusion no longer seems so mysterious. By utilizing atomic hydrogen sources (from direct current glow discharge, corona discharge, radio frequency generators, microwave sources, hot tungsten filaments, etc) and various sources of carbon along with nickel, we can produce ultra-low work function electron emitters – likely what Rossi originally described as his ever so critical tubercules or tubercles.
For more information including other useful dopants, carbon allotropes, and some practical considerations, please check out the full version of this article.