Science & Technology

Scientists create new ultra-hard diamond glass

Credit: Yingwei Fei

It is the hardest known glass with the highest thermal conductivity of all glass materials.

Scientists have synthesized a new ultra-hard foam carbon glass that has a wealth of practical applications for devices and electronics.

It is the hardest known glass with the highest thermal conductivity of all glass materials. Their findings are published in Nature.

When it comes to understanding the properties of materials, function follows shape.

The way the atoms chemically bond to each other and the resulting structural arrangement determine the physical quality of the material. Both those that can be observed with the naked eye and those that can only be revealed by scientific research.

Carbon is unmatched in its ability to form stable structures, either alone or in combination with other elements. Some forms of carbon are highly organized, with repeating crystal lattices.

Others are more chaotic and the quality is called amorphous.

The type of bond that holds the carbon-based material together determines its hardness. For example, soft graphite has a two-dimensional bond and hard diamond has a three-dimensional bond.

“Synthesis of amorphous carbon materials with three-dimensional bonds has long been a goal,” explains Fei. “The secret is to find the right starting material that deforms when pressure is applied.”

“For decades, Carnegie researchers have been at the forefront of this field, using laboratory techniques to generate extreme pressure, create new materials, and conditions found deep inside the planet. I’m imitating it, “added Richard Carlson, director of the Institute for Planetary Materials, Carnegie.

Due to its very high melting point, it is not possible to use diamond as a starting point for synthesizing glass like diamond. However, a research team led by Jilin University’s Bing Bin Liu and former Carnegie visiting scholar Ming An Yao is groundbreaking using a 60-molecule carbon form arranged to form a hollow ball. Has achieved great results.

This Nobel Prize-winning material, informally called a buckyball, turns carbon into crystalline diamond under pressure after being heated enough to disrupt a soccer ball-like structure and induce disorder. I did.

The team used a large number of multi-anvil presses to synthesize diamond-like glass. Glass is large enough for characterization. Its properties have been confirmed using various advanced high resolution techniques for scrutinizing the atomic structure.

“Making glass with these excellent properties opens the door to new applications,” Fay explained.

“The use of new glass materials depends on making large pieces that have raised challenges in the past. The relatively low temperatures that allowed us to synthesize this new ultra-hard diamond glass make mass production more practical. I will. “

Scientists create new ultra-hard diamond glass Scientists create new ultra-hard diamond glass

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