Skip to comments.New form of superhard carbon observed
Posted on 10/13/2011 10:58:04 AM PDT by Red Badger
Carbon is the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe and takes on a wide variety of forms, called allotropes, including diamond and graphite. Scientists at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory are part of a team that has discovered a new form of carbon, which is capable of withstanding extreme pressure stresses that were previously observed only in diamond. This breakthrough discovery will be published in Physical Review Letters.
The team was led by Stanford's Wendy L. Mao and her graduate student Yu Lin and includes Carnegie's Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao, Li Zhang, Paul Chow, Yuming Xiao, Maria Baldini, and Jinfu Shu. The experiment started with a form of carbon called glassy carbon, which was first synthesized in the 1950s, and was found to combine desirable properties of glasses and ceramics with those of graphite. The team created the new carbon allotrope by compressing glassy carbon to above 400,000 times normal atmospheric pressure.
This new carbon form was capable of withstanding 1.3 million times normal atmospheric pressure in one direction while confined under a pressure of 600,000 times atmospheric levels in other directions. No substance other than diamond has been observed to withstand this type of pressure stress, indicating that the new carbon allotrope must indeed be very strong.
However, unlike diamond and other crystalline forms of carbon, the structure of this new material is not organized in repeating atomic units. It is an amorphous material, meaning that its structure lacks the long-range order of crystals. This amorphous, superhard carbon allotrope would have a potential advantage over diamond if its hardness turns out to be isotropicthat is, having hardness that is equally strong in all directions. In contrast, diamond's hardness is highly dependent upon the direction in which the crystal is oriented.
"These findings open up possibilities for potential applications, including super hard anvils for high-pressure research and could lead to new classes of ultradense and strong materials," said Russell Hemley, director of Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory.
A small rod of glassy carbon.
Depending how much it weighs, I can see this being used to protect soldiers or other kinds of shirlding if it can be produced in mass quantities.
” The team was led by Stanford’s Wendy L. Mao and her graduate student Yu Lin and includes Carnegie’s Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao, Li Zhang, Paul Chow, Yuming Xiao, Maria Baldini, and Jinfu Shu “
Stanford?? Or a Chinese Farming Village??
Read that in a book one time, can't think of the author or title.
Aurthur Clarke wrote some books about that, actually it was to a higher orbit than that, but as I recall, they used a type of “string diamond” to do it.. this sounds a lot like that.
I’m sure they are all good Americans...........
And you thought I didn’t know that??? /s/
I am sure you can find plenty of Dick and Jane types names at the Occupy Wall Street protest. Perhaps instead of telling 2 entire generations that the most important thing is some ethereal "happiness" we should have stressed things like, financial security, responsibility and honor.
“Friday” by Robert Heinlein. He called them “Beanstalks”.
Arthur C Clark, “The Fountains of Paradise” is credited with the notion, though variants are older. Google “space elevator”. A very long rope tethered to the earth, long enough that its center of gravity is beyond geostationary orbit, will remain vertical. The rope must be strong enough, stronger than current materials allow yet physics/chemistry indicates suitable materials are indeed possible. Efforts are underway to encourage the technology needed to build a space elevator.
That’s nothing. Check Obama’s skull.
Well thats nice, but when can I buy my +6 Grandmaster Armor already? Dragons aint gonna off themselves!
The Chinese also don't have the punishing EPA regs that we do. They dont give a damn about smog, spotted owls, or lake pollution. Macau is friendlier to business than the U.S. is, but at the end of the day they are still COMMUNISTS and quite proud of it. A friend who lived in China asked many there what they thought on 9/11. The overwhelming response was "they finally got a bloody nose and they deserved it!".
Will do no good against dragons. Carbon burns............
Sounds like a candidate for engine blocks, bearings, races, etc.
Be still my gas-powered heart!
So will the cartoon writers.
And no oil required!........But how ya gonna machine it??????...........
Diamonds burn at 700 degrees F, so this probably does to, so possible application that would involve heat or friction that gets that in temp is probably not possible.
“And no oil required!........But how ya gonna machine it??????...........”
With a diamond tipped lathe
This means that the Chicoms now have it.
Arthur C. Clarke - The Fountains of Paradise (1979)
It will never work. The human brain can't withstand that much elevator music.
Of course, since our federal government prefers to spend our monetary resources on the welfare class, this might be a moot point in any case. I'd say private space ventures might have a go at it, but that is also prey to federal regulatory burdens, so that too may be a non-starter...
Mao, Zhang, Chow, Xiao, Shu, and ... Maria Baldini? How did she sneak in there? But seriously, can't China get their own chinese scientists to come up with some ideas so they don't need to steal technology secrets from our chinese scientists all the time?
The material can be taken to 2500°C (4500°F) depending on grade, without any significant devitrification. Above that temperature some devitrification will occur and there will be a nucleation and growth of a graphite phase.
Note: that the SPI Glas glassy carbon products can be heated in air up to 500°C (900°F) without undergoing any reaction. Above this temperature any heating should be done strictly either under vacuum or in an environment of argon.
You may wish to sleeve the cylinder but that is OK.
Although we should probably kill the guy that invented ortho novum (joke!).
This stuff reminded me of the diamond cable in the story.
Wendy Mao is an American. She is not a Chi-Com. It is not EPA regulations that keeps white Americans from pursuing math and science. It is a culture of doing what feels good at the moment.
Our Chinese American scientists have both freedom and rule of law. These factors are what have taken America from a tiny farming colony to history’s greatest superpower. Chi-Coms can only copy us, because while they can learn, they are not free. Of course, the more free they get and the less free we get, we could certainly see the trend change in the future.
+1 for the space elevator
The counter weight has to be higher than geosynchronous, 24,000 miles, so it’s either high earth orbit or nothing.
“But how ya gonna machine it??????...........”
LASER beams baby!
Depending on how can be manufactured and if it can be shaped, it may be able to replace steel.
You could be looking at bridges or diamond structure, instead of steel for sky scrapers.
Could there be a second floor?
Politicians seem psychologically incapable of understanding how limited their thinking is compared to the producers.
The team created the new carbon allotrope by compressing glassy carbon to above 400,000 times normal atmospheric pressure.Wow!
That's speculation, I'm guessing.
One clue is "long range order of crystals", like what is that supposed to mean? Probably not enough of the material has been extensively tested yet.
Here’s some bvw dreamland speculations. In such dense fermi-level locked structures, we can quantumly entangle some nuclei and have bound nuclei that become a quantum-resonant mix of nitrogen and carbon. That entanglement might make the structures defiant of X-Ray crystallography, and make it look amorphous, when actually it’s just a denser diamond lattice. You might be able to measure this by decay rates if you have some C-14 in there.