Shatterproof smartphone screens are getting closer? Ultra-hard diamond glass was created

Carnegie Science scientists have created a new, ultrahard form of diamond glass with enormous commercial potential. It is the hardest glass known, with the highest thermal conductivity of any glass material. The expected breakthrough in electronics is coming?

The way atoms are connected together determines the physical properties of the material – both those that can be observed with the naked eye and those that only become apparent in complex scientific research.

Magic coal

Carbon is unmatched in creating stable structures – alone and in combination with other elements. Some forms of carbon are organized, with repeating lattices, and others, more disordered, with an amorphous structure.

Also read: This molecule has been searched for 70 years. Finally, crystalline nanographene was synthesized

Moreover, the type of chemical bonds present in a carbon molecule determines its hardness. Soft graphite has two-dimensional bonds and hard diamond has three-dimensional bonds.

The synthesis of amorphous carbon material with three-dimensional bonds is a long-term goal. The trick is finding the right starting material that can be transformed using pressure.

Yingwei Fei from Carnegie Science

Due to its very high melting point, diamond cannot be used as a starting point for the synthesis of diamond-like glass. The research team, led by Bingbing Liu of Jilin University and Mingguang Yao – a former Carnegie fellow – made a breakthrough using a form of carbon consisting of 60 molecules arranged in a hollow ball. It is buckminsterfulleren (also called buckyball), or C fullerene60 spherical in shape.

For decades, Carnegie scientists have been at the forefront of this field, using laboratory techniques to generate extreme pressures to create novel materials or to mimic conditions deep inside planets.

Richard Carlson, director of the Carnegie Earth and Planets Laboratory

Scientists use a press to convert fullerene C60 into diamond glass, similar to the graphite-to-diamond process in high-pressure apparatuses

Scientists used buckminsterfulleren to synthesize diamond-like glass. Its properties have been confirmed using various advanced techniques for studying the atomic structure.

Creating glass with such excellent properties will open the door to new applications. The use of new glass materials depends on the production of large pieces, which has been a challenge in the past. The relatively low temperature at which we were able to synthesize this new ultra-hard diamond glass makes mass production more practical.

Yingwei Fei

You can read about the details of the research in Nature and on the Carnegie Science website.

About Alex Marcell

He likes dogs, pizza and popcorn. Already a fanboy of Nintendo and Sony, but today throws anything. He has collaborated on sites and magazines such as GameBlast, Nintendo World, Hero and Portal Pop, but today is dedicated exclusively to Spark Chronicles.

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