'BC5' material shows superhard, superconducting potential

June 22, 2010

What could be better than diamond when it comes to a superhard material for electronics under extreme thermal and pressure conditions? Quite possibly BC5, a diamond-like material with an extremely high boron content that offers exceptional hardness and resistance to fracture, but unlike diamond, it is a superconductor rather than an insulator. A research team in China studying BC5 describes its potential in the Journal of Applied Physics.

"Our current study reveals a great possibility that BC5 may possess both superhard and superconducting properties that are beneficial to the creation of multifunctional devices under extreme conditions," says Professor Yanming Ma, who led the research team at Jilin University.

At the heart of their study is the proposal that the synthesized BC5 adopts the diamond-[100] structure with special symmetry. Explains Ma, the BC5 structure has atomic packing of the form ABCABC… along the [100] crystallographic direction of diamond. This makes the deep understanding of this superhard and superconducting species possible. Ma believes that the outstanding mechanical and of BC5 can be adapted to design new superconducting nano-electromechanical systems and high-pressure devices.

Quan Li, the study's first author, expects their findings to stimulate further research into other B-C-N compounds with superhard and superconducting properties.

Explore further: Superconductivity in diamond

More information: The article, "Superhard and Superconducting Structures of BC5" by Quan Li et al will appear in the Journal of Applied Physics. See: jap.aip.org/

Related Stories

Superconductivity in diamond

April 10, 2004

As well as holding pride of place as the most sought-after of all precious gemstones, diamond possesses a dazzling array of technologically useful properties. As well as being the hardest, most thermally conducting, and chemically ...

Researchers to Study Properties of the Hope Diamond

August 25, 2005

Since January, scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory's Chemistry Division have been studying the optical properties of the Hope Diamond, at the invitation of the Smithsonian Institution. In collaboration with the ...

Scientists Discover Material Harder Than Diamond

February 12, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Currently, diamond is regarded to be the hardest known material in the world. But by considering large compressive pressures under indenters, scientists have calculated that a material called wurtzite boron ...

Metal Becomes Transparent Under High Pressure

March 12, 2009

An international team of scientists have discovered a transparent form of the element sodium (Na). The team, led by Artem Oganov, Professor of Theoretical Crystallography at Stony Brook University, and Yanming Ma, the lead ...

Recommended for you

New blow for 'supersymmetry' physics theory

July 27, 2015

In a new blow for the futuristic "supersymmetry" theory of the universe's basic anatomy, experts reported fresh evidence Monday of subatomic activity consistent with the mainstream Standard Model of particle physics.

Rogue wave theory to save ships

July 29, 2015

Physicists have found an explanation for rogue waves in the ocean and hope their theory will lead to devices to warn ships and save lives.

Researchers build bacteria's photosynthetic engine

July 29, 2015

Nearly all life on Earth depends on photosynthesis, the conversion of light energy into chemical energy. Oxygen-producing plants and cyanobacteria perfected this process 2.7 billion years ago. But the first photosynthetic ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.