Simple Chain of Atoms as the Strongest Material

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

The Strongest Material

Theoretical Physicist Boris Yakobson and his group from Rice University have declared that a monodimensional chain of carbon atoms known as carbyne is the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials. This will be possible only when it is made in bulk.

Carbyne is a chain of atoms clubbed together by double or alternating single and triple atomic bonds. It is a true one-dimensional material. According to the calculations by the team, carbyne has high tensile strength than any other material. The material is stable at room temperature and its chains can take on side molecules to make the chain suitable for energy storage.

This material has been since 1960, after theories about it appeared in the 19th century. Carbyne is found in compressed graphite, interstellar dust and has also been created in small quantities by experimentalists. Researchers from Rice University knew of papers describing properties of carbine and they set out to detail the same with computer models using first principle rules to determine energetic interactions of atoms. The experiment revealed a host of other properties which stated that carbyne was sensitive to twisting which could be useful as a sensor for torsion or magnetic fields. 

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