Scientists make a crystal that is stronger and harder than diamond itself

A perfect diamond weighing more than 100 carats, it is the second largest oval diamond of its kind to appear at auction to be auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in October in New York, USA. September 9, 2020 (Reuters) / Carlo Allegri

Although it is a fact unknown to many, diamond, in addition to being considered the “precious stone par excellence”, is also one of nature’s most resistant materials. According to physicists, Natural diamonds can withstand 50 to 70 gigapascals (GPa) of pressure, while synthetic or synthetic diamonds can reach pressures of up to 100 gigapascals.

Now, when it was thought that there could be no material more resistant than this, a group of scientists have managed to make a crystal that can, incredibly, withstand a total of 113 gigapascals in the Vickers hardness test. This is 226% stronger than regular diamonds and 13% stronger than synthetic diamonds, so in theory one of these gemstones could scratch.

“Extensive mechanical tests show that AM-III composite carbon is the strongest and strongest amorphous material known to date, which can scratch a diamond crystal and come close to its strength.”

The research detailing every detail of this discovery was published in the National Science Review, one of the world’s leading science journals.

According to the study, this new material (known as AM-III), as with diamond, was made on the basis of carbon. It also has the appearance of glass and can conduct and absorb light rays.

“Carbon is one of the most fascinating elements, due to its structurally diverse allotropes, derived from different types of bonds. Exploring new forms of carbon has always been the eternal topic of scientific research,” the study explains, ensuring, in this case, “the amorphous structure of this element.” , acquired after compression of fullerenes C (molecules made up of carbon) Under high pressure and high temperature that no one has ever detected beforeIt was what led to the discovery of this new substance.

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In fact, experts say, exposure to extreme conditions led to the formation of a structure of ordered (or defined) atoms along with other slightly more chaotic atoms, which, although it might seem problematic, was the formula that managed to give AM-III One of its amazing features.

Similarly, the research highlights that “analysis of photoluminescence and absorption spectra shows that they A semiconductor with a bandgap interval of 1.5 to 2.2 electronvolts (eV), comparable to the widely used amorphous siliconIn short, it could replace silicon as a light transmitter in things that work with the help of photovoltaic cells.

The produced AM carbon materials combine superb mechanical and electronic properties, and It can be used in PV applications requiring extremely high strength and corrosion resistanceExplain the researchers.

In summary, “The emergence of this type of ultra-hard, super-resistant carbon material and semiconductor provides excellent options for the most demanding practical applications”, Such as creating solar panels or other types of items that use light as a generator of electrical energyHowever, they must be manufactured with materials that are resistant to extreme temperatures or extremely high pressures.

Finally, although this discovery will certainly have a positive impact on the generation of highly resistant photovoltaic industrial processes, scientists say it is still needed. “Further experimental and theoretical exploration of carbon compounds”, because certainly other types of materials can be obtained more resistant than AM-III.

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Freddie Dawson

"Beer specialist. Award-winning tv enthusiast. Bacon ninja. Hipster-friendly web advocate. Total social media junkie. Gamer. Amateur writer. Creator."

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