Scientists from the United States discovered a new, stable form of pure carbon from cheap raw materials.
The material has extraordinary physical properties and can lead to the emergence of new electronics.The material they created was the result of an unsuccessful attempt to synthesize a carbon atom sheet consisting of pentagraphine rings. This type of graphene exists only in theory so far, but instead the scientists found a thin sheet with a new material.
The resulting material is harder than steel, conducts approximately the same amount of electricity and reflects light as a polished aluminum mirror.
Even more striking is the fact that it has ferromagnetic properties, i.e. it behaves like a permanent magnet at temperatures of up to 125 °C - until now, carbon has not been able to do so.
The material is much lighter than other ferromagnetic elements such as manganese, nickel or iron. Moreover, it is not toxic to the body. These qualities make it an excellent candidate for biosensors and drug delivery systems.
It should be emphasized that researchers have not yet had time to conduct a comprehensive analysis of new material. They have made a thin film and studied it under an electron microscope and X-ray spectrometer. So far, they have found no signs of defects that could be responsible for the unusual properties of this type of carbon.
Based on theoretical models and analytical data, they are convinced that the material consists of curved layers of carbon atoms with additional bonds between the layers.
However, some of the scientists who attended the symposium felt that a modest amount of data was not sufficient to claim the discovery of a new type of carbon. Without X-ray crystallography data, the gold standard in structure determination methodology, it is impossible to make a final conclusion.
Last year, chemists from Berkeley managed to find the Schwarzite material predicted a hundred years ago. It consists of carbon atoms and its properties resemble those of fullerene, nanotubes and graphene.