Nov 29, 2015

Diamond nanothread rivals graphene as the next big wonder material

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

For some time now, graphene has been the wonder material that scientists have been most excited about using: as it develops, it promises to transform everything from night-vision goggles to energy storage. Now researchers across the globe think they’ve come up with a material to rival it: diamond nanothread.

The clues are in the name. This potentially revolutionary, next-generation material is partly made from diamond and is incredibly thin as well as incredibly strong. Technically speaking, we’re looking at a type of carbon (like graphene) taking the form of a one-dimensional diamond crystal that’s topped with hydrogen. To create the material, benzene molecules were stacked together and pressurised.

It’s too early to say how diamond nanothread could be used — right now scientists are still at the research and simulation stage — but one of the appeals of a material like this is its versatility. And a team of scientists working at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia has been looking into the properties of diamond nanothread and think it might be more versatile and robust than originally believed.

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