Jun 17, 2016

Map of diamond-boron bond paves way for new materials

Posted by in category: materials

Great writeup and goes well with the other posting on DiAmanti’s new perfected synthetic diamonds.

Scientists in Japan have successfully recorded the atomic bonds between diamond and cubic boron nitride: the hardest known materials on earth. This feat could ultimately lead to the design of new types of semiconductors.

Diamond is the in existence but is useless for cutting steel because it reacts with iron, from which steel is made, at . Cubic , a synthetic material, is the second hardest substance after diamond but is chemically stable against iron at high temperatures. If desirable composites of diamond and cubic boron nitride crystals could be obtained, a unique machining tool could be developed for work on hard rock and substances that contain iron. Also, a better understanding of the bonds formed between these two unique semiconducting could lead to the development of new types of semiconductors. The nature of these bonds was previously unknown.

Reporting their findings in Nature Communications, a team of researchers at Tohoku University, the National Institute for Materials Science and the Japan Fine Ceramics Center imaged bonded diamond and boron nitride, both crystalline materials, using a super-high-resolution scanning electron microscope. The team then subjected those observations to extensive theoretical calculations.

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