A few years ago, if someone said to you that a portion of glass could be as strong as diamond, you would have laughed. But now, the scenario becomes a reality thanks to an international team of scientists led by China’s Yanshan University, according to The Independent.
The new material is named AM-III, and it could be used in solar cells because of its strength and resistance to water. The hardness of the material scores 113 gigapascals (GPa). As a comparison, natural diamond stone generally reaches between 50 and 70.
Tunable energy absorption properties are also present
AM-III possesses tunable properties for energy absorption. They’re comparable to semiconductors that are commonly used for solar cells.
In their study, the scientists noted, according to The Independent:
Consequently, our measurements demonstrate that the AM-III material is comparable in strength to diamond and superior to the other known strongest materials.
In diamonds, the internal structure of the atoms and molecules will contribute to the immense hardness. As for the AM-III material, scientists concluded that using a combination of order and disorder of the molecules will lead to the peculiar properties.
The researchers also wrote, as cited by The Independent:
The emergence of this type of ultrahard, ultrastrong, semiconducting amorphous material offers excellent candidates to [the] most demanding practical applications.
Diamond is mainly a form of carbon element, having its atoms arranged in a crystal structure named diamond cubic. During room pressure and temperature, a solid form of carbon known as graphite means the chemically stable form of carbon. Diamond rarely converts to it.
The most expensive diamond in the world remains the legendary oval-shaped Koh-I-Noor, as it weighs 105.6 carats.
The new invention was detailed in the National Science Review journal.