New ultrahard diamond glass synthesized

Similar to the process of converting graphite to diamond in high-pressure apparatus, researchers use multi-anvil press to turn fullerene C60 into diamond glass. The credit is given to Yingwei Fei.

The international research team that made the new ultrahard form of carbon glass was led by Carnegie's Lin Wang. It is the most thermal-conducting glass in the world. Nature publishes their findings.

When it comes to understanding the properties of a material, function follows form. The physical qualities of a material are determined by how its atoms are bonded to each other and how their structural arrangement is made.

Carbon is able to form stable structures alone and in combination with other elements. Some forms of carbon have repeating lattices. Others are more disorganized.

The type of bond that holds the carbon-based material together determines its hardness. Hard diamond has three-dimensional bonds and soft graphite has two-dimensional bonds.

The synthesis of a carbon material with three-dimensional bonds has been a goal for a long time. The trick is to find the right starting material.

"For decades Carnegie researchers have been at the forefront of the field, using laboratory techniques to generate extreme pressures to produce novel materials or mimic the conditions found deep inside planets," said Carnegie Earth and Planets Laboratory Director Richard Carlson.

It's not possible to use diamond as a starting point for making diamond-like glass because of its high melting point. The research team, led by Bingbing Liu of Jilin University, used a form of carbon composed of 60 molecules to form a hollow ball. The material was heated just enough to collapse its structure and turn it to a diamond under pressure.

The diamond-like glass was created using a large-volume multi-anvil press. The glass is large. Its properties were confirmed using a variety of advanced, high-resolution techniques.

The creation of a glass with such superior properties will open the door to new applications. The use of new glass materials hinges on making large pieces, which has posed a challenge in the past. Mass production is more practical because of the lower temperature at which we were able to synthesise this new ultrahard diamond glass.
Nature has more information about Bingbing Liu, Ultrahard bulk amorphous carbon from collapsed fullerene. There is a DOI titled " 10.1038/s41586-021-03882-9".

Nature journal information.

The new ultrahard diamond glass was retrieved from the news on November 24.

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