Diamonds are one of the hardest naturally occurring substances on Earth, and while we’ve discovered minerals even stronger than diamonds, scientists may have just taken things a step further. Scientists have developed a substance that is as hard as diamonds. They say this could be used in spacecraft and automobiles.
Their findings are published in the science journal Advanced Materials. Researchers from Europe, Russia and North America have created an organic semiconductor called carbon nitride. It is harder than cubic boron, which is second in the world to diamonds.
An ultra-strong substance such as this has many possible applications. Additionally, the possibility that a variety of carbon nitrides like this might even exist was first predicted in the 1980s. However, scientists have spent decades trying and failing to create the fabled substance. It seems that a major breakthrough is finally here.
The researchers synthesized the carbon nitride in a similar way to how diamonds are formed naturally – by using intense pressure while simultaneously blasting it with high temperatures. The scientists say that the possibilities for this ultra-tough substance are almost endless, with painted-on protectant for spacecraft and even material used to manufacture cars being touted as two possibilities.
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Diamonds are already used in a plethora of ways, from drill bits to decorative stones in rings and other jewelry. Obviously, it’s unlikely we’ll see this material appearing in jewelry, but it could help replace diamonds in other manufacturing, from drill bits used in mining to the material used to protect solar panels from stormy weather and other airborne particles.
It took over three decades, but scientists are confident this breakthrough could help pave the way for the creation of even more ultra-tough substances.
The post Scientists made an ultra-tough substance as hard as diamonds appeared first on BGR.