Different types of carbon materials are biocompatible with neural cells and can promote maturation. The mechanism of this effect is not clear. Here we have tested the capacity of a carbon material composed of amorphous sp3 carbon backbone, embedded with a percolating network of sp2 carbon domains to sustain neuronal cultures. We found that cortical neurons survive and develop faster on this novel carbon material. After 3 days in culture, there is a precocious increase in the frequency of neuronal activity and in the expression of maturation marker KCC2 on carbon films as compared to a commonly used glass surface. Accelerated development is accompanied by a dramatic increase in neuronal dendrite arborization. The mechanism for the precocious maturation involves the activation of intracellular calcium oscillations by the carbon material already after 1 day in culture. Carbon-induced oscillations are independent of network activity and reflect intrinsic spontaneous activation of developing neurons. Thus, these results reveal a novel mechanism for carbon material-induced neuronal survival and maturation.