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Harder than diamond: Carbon nitride may be the hardest material on the planet

Harder than diamond: Carbon nitride may be the hardest material on the planet

It contains the strength of rock and the mystery of what we do not know. Scientists believe they have created a material that is almost impossible to break, and may be able to unseat diamond as the strongest material in the world, a study published in the journal revealed. Advanced materials On October 11, 2023.

They are called carbon nitrides and are stronger than cubic boron nitride, currently known to be the second hardest material on the planet. By synthesizing carbon and nitrogen precursors, an international team led by researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s Extreme Science Center believes they have achieved a breakthrough in making the material.

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A winning combination between pressure and cooking

To achieve this, experts exposed various forms of carbon-based nitrogen precursors to pressures ranging from 70 to 135 gigapascals, equivalent to a million times our atmospheric pressure. At the same time, they heated it to more than 1,500 degrees Celsius.

“When we discovered the first of these new carbon nitride materials, we couldn’t believe we had produced the material that researchers had dreamed of for three decades.”Dominic Laniel of the University of Edinburgh said, according to an article in New Atlas Posted on December 13, 2023.

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First synthetic study

Scientists have known about the potential of carbon nitrides for a long time. In the 1980s, they were able to notice their high resistance to heat. But their creation was a completely different story. No reliable study on its composition has been conducted yet.

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This advancement opens the way to numerous uses according to the team, including… “Protective coatings for vehicles, spacecraft, ruggedized cutting tools, and photodetectors.”

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