Carbyne material is ‘world’s strongest’

Move over graphene, researchers at Rice University have uncovered a new material which they believe is the world's strongest.

The team used computer simulations to calculate that the material, called carbyne, is twice as strong as carbon nanotubes and three times stiffer than diamond. Its tensile strength also surpasses that of any other known material and is double that of graphene.

Carbyne is a monodimensional chain of carbon atoms held together by either double or alternating single and triple atomic bonds.

This makes it a truly one-dimensional material, unlike atom-thin sheets of graphene which have a top and a bottom or hollow nanotubes which have an inside and outside.

"You could look at it as an ultimately thin graphene ribbon, reduced to just one atom, or an ultimately thin nanotube," said lead researcher Boris Yakobson. "It could be useful for nanomechanical systems, in spintronic devices, as sensors, as strong and light materials for mechanical applications or for energy storage.

"Regardless of the applications, academically it's very exciting to know the strongest possible assembly of atoms."

Author
Laura Hopperton

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