Feeds

Diamonds lose 'world's hardest' title

Squished C60 is tougher

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Diamonds have been usurped as the world's hardest material, thanks to researchers in Germany, who have made a new material by compressing carbon-60 molecules. They have dubbed their new form of carbon "aggregated diamond nanorods".

The University of Bayreuth team, led by Natalia Dubrovinskaia, have patented their breakthrough, which they expect will have many applications in industry.

A material's hardness is measured in terms of its 'isothermal bulk modulus' - that is to say, how a solid's volume changes as pressure is applied, at a constant temperature. Diamond has a modulus of 442 gigapascals, but the new material has a modulus of 491 gigapascals.

The new material is created by subjecting carbon-60 to 200 times atmospheric pressure, while heating to 2500 Kelvin, the researchers say. This creates the aggregated diamond nanorods - so called because the material is made of interlocking diamond rods, each around one micron long, and having a diameter of between five and 20nm.

The scientists, who are now looking for partners to commercialise their discovery, say more work is needed to determine exactly why this new material is so tough.

The research was published in Applied Physics Letters. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.