Diamond thread, not graphene, could be the super-strong material the world is waiting for
Graphene has always been touted as the wonder material of the future, but according to new research by Australian scientists, it’s diamond nanothreads we should be excited about.
These one-dimensional diamond crystals capped with hydrogen could be extremely strong. Scientists discounted them not too long ago, thinking that the material was just too brittle to be a viable construction tool. However, with a few well-placed defects, the diamond threads become flexible and durable.
Just like graphene, diamond nanothread is a perfect building material for when something needs to be strong and thin. It could be the future material used in aircraft or spacecraft, and maybe even autonomous cars of the future.
Of course, like all good scientific discoveries, this is still only a theory, with the University of Queensland research team having only run simulations to test if it will work. If you want to wrap your head around the confusing science, you can download and read the research paper from the Cornell University Library.
So far, the viability of mass-producing diamond nanothread is uncertain. While graphene has slowly come down in price, thanks to large amounts of research around production, diamond nanothread has only been made by one lab at Pennsylvania State University. However, armed with this new research, don’t be surprised if you start hearing more about diamond’s potential to change our lives.
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Image: Jenny Downing – Flickr