Unusual: Discovery of a new substance even harder than diamond? – Tameteo.com

diamondBecause of its structure, diamond is considered the strongest substance in the world, but carbon nitrides could come close or even surpass it. Tristan Bergen Tristan Bergen 12/22/2023 10:00 4 min

Recently, scientists at the University of Edinburgh announced that they believe they have created carbon nitrides in the laboratory, a material that could do this They approach and possibly even exceed the strength of a diamond !

Carbon Nitrides: What are they?

THE Carbon nitrides have been known to scientists for several decades. As early as the 1980s, researchers had highlighted their potential and presented tetrahedral three-dimensional structures that they offered Particularly high resistance, especially to heat.

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These carbon nitrides were also considered to be more resilient than cubic boron nitride, which is currently known as the second hardest material on the planet, although of course it is the most resilient material the diamond.

However, the laboratory production of these carbon nitrides was not possible still a real challenge todaythese show themselves particularly difficult to synthesize. Since then, no credible study has been conducted on the subject.

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However, an international team of scientists led by researchers from the Center for Science in Extreme Conditions at the University of Edinburgh recently reported managed the feat of producing this material.

A success in the scientific world

Materials scientists from the Universities of Bayreuth (Germany) and Linköping (Sweden) teamed up to achieve this feat by exposing different forms of carbon-nitrogen precursors particularly high pressures in the range of 70 to 135 gigapascals (~1 million times atmospheric pressure at sea level on Earth) and at temperatures above 1500°C.

The atomic arrangement obtained under these conditions was then examined with a scanning microscope and revealed Three of the synthesized carbon nitride compounds showed the expected structures. This achievement left scientists in disbelief, These finally manage to produce materials that researchers have been dreaming of for more than three decades.

This discovery is anything but trivial since carbon nitrides may be present a resistance similar to and possibly even higher than that of diamond ! These could therefore be used in developing revolutionary protective coatings for vehicles and spacecraft, but also in creating even more robust cutting tools.

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The scientists responsible for the study also found this out These synthesized carbon nitrides were photoluminescent but also piezoelectricthat means that“They generate electricity when subjected to mechanical forces.”everything while you are high energy density. In addition to their exceptional resilience other even more interesting features related to energy could in the future be traced back to this “new” material with extraordinary properties.


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