Rice University researchers have determined from first-principle calculations that carbyne would be the strongest material yet discovered. The carbon-atom chains would be difficult to make but would be twice as strong as two-dimensional graphene sheets. Credit: Vasilii Artyukhov/Rice University
Nanoropes or nanorods of carbyne, a chain of carbon atoms, would be stronger than graphene or even diamond if they can be manufactured, according to new calculations by Rice University. Theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson said the material might find uses in electronics and for energy storage. Credit: Vasilii Artyukhov/Rice University
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Carbyne will be the strongest of a new class of microscopic materials if and when anyone can make it in bulk. If they do, they'll find carbyne nanorods or nanoropes have a host of remarkable and useful properties, as described in a new paper by Rice University theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his group. The paper appears this week in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.