Energy

Scientists Can Now Create Material Harder Than Diamond

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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Physicists announced Tuesday they’d successfully simulated a material called fullerite — harder than diamonds — which could someday revolutionize electronics, nanotechnology and materials science.

Using computer and X-ray simulations, researchers at the Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials (TISNCM) should be able to build the ultra-hard material. The material has unique heat resistance properties and remarkable physical strength which could make it useful across several fields.

Natural diamonds have a hardness of nearly 150 gigapascals (GPa), but this ultrahard fullerite has as it could be between from 150 to 300 gigapascals. Fullertie could be almost twice as hard as diamond.

Fullerite is a molecular crystal similar to the previously discovered with fullerene molecule. Fullerene is a spherical molecule of carbon atoms which was first synthesized over 30 years ago, and was awarded the Nobel Prize. Carbon spheres in fullerite may be packed in different ways, and the hardness of the material strongly depends on how the fullerenes are connected to each other.

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