UB scientists search for materials harder than diamond

Published September 11, 2019

MSN reported on UB chemistry professor Eva Zurek's new research, which predicts 43 new forms of superhard carbon — including several thought to be harder than or about as hard as diamond. Superhard materials are useful in a variety of applications, such as cutting and polishing. "Diamonds are right now the hardest material that is commercially available, but they are very expensive," Zurek says. "If you could find other materials that are hard, potentially you could make them cheaper. They might also have useful properties that diamonds don't have." Her team used XtalOpt, an open-source evolutionary algorithm for crystal structure prediction developed in her lab, to predict the new carbon structures, which have not yet been synthesized. 

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