Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New form of carbon can put a dent in a diamond

Date:
August 16, 2012
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
Scientists have observed a new form of very hard carbon clusters, which are unusual in their mix of crystalline and disordered structure. The material is capable of indenting diamond. This finding has potential applications for a range of mechanical, electronic, and electrochemical uses.

The above image shows the structure of the starting material: carbon-60 solvate made with C-60 cages and m-xylene solvent. Under high pressure, the C-60 cages collapsed and transformed into amorphous carbon clusters but each cluster still occupy its original lattaice site, forming a novel material of ordered amorphous clusters.
Credit: Image courtesy of Lin Wang, Carnegie Institution

A team of scientists led by Carnegie's Lin Wang has observed a new form of very hard carbon clusters, which are unusual in their mix of crystalline and disordered structure. The material is capable of indenting diamond. This finding has potential applications for a range of mechanical, electronic, and electrochemical uses.

Related Articles


The work is published in Science on Aug. 17.

Carbon is the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe and takes on a wide variety of forms -- the honeycomb-like graphene, the pencil "lead" graphite, diamond, cylindrically structured nanotubes, and hollow spheres called fullerenes. .

Some forms of carbon are crystalline, meaning that the structure is organized in repeating atomic units. Other forms are amorphous, meaning that the structure lacks the long-range order of crystals. Hybrid products that combine both crystalline and amorphous elements had not previously been observed, although scientists believed they could be created.

Wang's team -- including Carnegie's Wenge Yang, Zhenxian Liu, Stanislav Sinogeikin, and Yue Meng -- started with a substance called carbon-60 cages, made of highly organized balls of carbon constructed of pentagon and hexagon rings bonded together to form a round, hollow shape. An organic xylene solvent was put into the spaces between the balls and formed a new structure. They then applied pressure to this combination of carbon cages and solvent, to see how it changed under different stresses.

At relatively low pressure, the carbon-60's cage structure remained. But as the pressure increased, the cage structures started to collapse into more amorphous carbon clusters. However, the amorphous clusters still occupy their original sites, forming a lattice structure.

The team discovered that there is a narrow window of pressure, about 320,000 times the normal atmosphere, under which this new structured carbon is created and does not bounce back to the cage structure when pressure is removed. This is crucial for finding practical applications for the new material going forward.

This material was capable of indenting the diamond anvil used in creating the high-pressure conditions. This means that the material is superhard.

If the solvent used to prepare the new form of carbon is removed by heat treatment, the material loses its lattice periodicity, indicating that that the solvent is crucial for maintaining the chemical transition that underlies the new structure. Because there are many similar solvents, it is theoretically possible that an array of similar, but slightly different, carbon lattices could be created using this pressure method.

"We created a new type of carbon material, one that is comparable to diamond in its inability to be compressed," Wang said. "Once created under extreme pressures, this material can exist at normal conditions, meaning it could be used for a wide array of practical applications."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Wang, B. Liu, H. Li, W. Yang, Y. Ding, S. V. Sinogeikin, Y. Meng, Z. Liu, X. C. Zeng, W. L. Mao. Long-Range Ordered Carbon Clusters: A Crystalline Material with Amorphous Building Blocks. Science, 2012; 337 (6096): 825 DOI: 10.1126/science.1220522

Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "New form of carbon can put a dent in a diamond." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816141529.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2012, August 16). New form of carbon can put a dent in a diamond. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816141529.htm
Carnegie Institution. "New form of carbon can put a dent in a diamond." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120816141529.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

Inspectors Found Faulty Work Before NYC Blast

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) An hour before an apparent gas explosion sent flames soaring and debris flying at a Manhattan apartment building, injuring 19 people, utility company inspectors decided the work being done there was faulty. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Facebook Building Plane-Sized Drones For Global Internet

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) Facebook on Thursday revealed more details about its Internet-connected drone project. The drone is bigger than a 737, but lighter than a car. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Robot Returns from International Space Station and Sets Two Guinness World Records

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 27, 2015) The companion robot "Kirobo" returns to earth from the International Space Station and sets two Guinness World Records. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

Residents Witness Building Explosion, Collapse

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) Witnesses recount the sites and sounds of a massive explosion and subsequent building collapse in the heart of Manhattan&apos;s trendy East Village on Thursday. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins