Wang, J. T., C. F. Chen, et al. (2011). "Low-Temperature Phase Transformation from Graphite to sp3 Orthorhombic Carbon." Physical Review Letters 106(7): 075501.

We identify by ab initio calculations an orthorhombic carbon polymorph in Pnma symmetry that has the lowest enthalpy among proposed cold-compressed graphite phases. This new phase contains alternating zigzag and armchair buckled carbon sheets transformed via a one-layer by three-layer slip mechanism. It has a wide indirect band gap and a large bulk modulus that are comparable to those of diamond. Its simulated x-ray diffraction pattern best matches the experimental data. Pressure plays a key role in lowering the kinetic barrier during the phase conversion process. These results provide a comprehensive understanding and an excellent account for experimental findings.