When it can be made in bulk, carbyne will be the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials.
Do you recall my recent blog post about graphene sheets? Click here to read it if you haven’t already.
It appears that graphene has been showed up: the carbon atom chains may be difficult to make, but will be twice as strong as graphene.
“Rice University researchers have determined from first-principle calculations that carbyne would be the strongest material yet discovered,” Science Daily writes.
Carbyne’s tensile strength surpasses that of any other material and has nearly three times the tensile stiffness as diamond. Among even more remarkable qualities, carbyne chains can take side molecules, making them suitable for energy storage. Researchers are studying carbyne and looking into other elements to see of they too can form one-dimensional chains.
What I think is so interesting about this simple, yet mindblowing, chain of carbon atoms is that while carbon atoms can assemble in diamonds and graphene, and carbyne, they also help to compose some of the softest graphite or charcoal.
Carbon, atomic number 6, is a curious and diverse element.