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Researchers discover “Carbyne” – stronger than steel, grapheme, and diamond

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Drawing of Carbyne

Researchers from Rice University have calculated a new form of carbon supermaterial, named Carbyyne, that is stronger than steel, grapheme, and even diamonds. The new form of carbon promises more strength and stiffness than any other known material. The new material is constructed from a chain of carbon atoms linked either by alternate triple and single bonds, or just by consecutive double bonds.

At this stage of discovery, the material is too reactive (when two pieces of the material come in contact with each other) to be of reliable use but researchers noted that there is an “activation barrier” that prevents it from destabilizing. Researchers are looking for a practical way to stabilize it.

According to MIT Review,

“The sixth element, carbon, has given us an amazing abundance of extraordinary materials. Once there was simply carbon, graphite and diamond. But in recent years chemists have added buckyballs, nanotubes and any number of exotic shapes created out of graphene, the molecular equivalent of chickenwire… It’s hard to believe that carbon had any more surprises up its sleeve.”

Sources: MIT Review