By strongly compressing carbon nanoparticles, the researchers created the hardest glass to date with the highest thermal conductivity of any glass material known.
Diamond combines high strength andtransparency, but, unlike quartz sand, it is not suitable for glass casting. The problem lies in the difficulty of its melting, requiring extremely high temperatures and pressures (3700-4000 ° C at 11 GPa), comparable to conditions in the center of the Earth. In this case, melting of soft forms of carbon, such as graphite, does not позволяет добиться желаемого результата из-за их двумерной структуры связи между атомами.
For decades, scientists have been looking for the optimal startingmaterial to convert to diamond-like glass. Among them are researchers from Jilin University who have experimented with high pressures and temperatures for many years. However, they recently found a way to synthesize an amorphous carbon material with three-dimensional bonds.
For this, they used as a basefullerene (spherical molecules of 60 carbon atoms). First, the team heated it to the minimum level necessary to destroy the entire molecular structure. The broken fullerene was then compressed using a large multi-station press, turning it into a sheet of carbon material with a three-dimensional structure similar to diamond.
Tests have shown that the resulting sheet is the hardest and most durable stack to date with the highest thermal conductivity of all known glass materials.</p>