Russian Scientists Synthesize a New Ultra-Hard Material

Russian Ultra Hard Material

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Russian scientists have synthesized a brand new ultra-hard materials containing scandium and carbon. It consists of polymerized fullerene molecules with scandium and carbon atoms inside. The work paves the best way for future research of fullerene-based ultra-hard supplies, making them a possible candidate to be used in photovoltaic and optical gadgets, components of nanoelectronics and optoelectronics, biomedical engineering as high-performance distinction brokers, and so on. The analysis research was printed within the journal Carbon.

The discovery of latest, all-carbon molecules generally known as fullerenes nearly forty years in the past was a revolutionary breakthrough that paved the best way for fullerene nanotechnology. Fullerenes have a spherical form manufactured from pentagons and hexagons that resembles a soccer ball, and a cavity throughout the carbon body of fullerene molecules can accommodate quite a lot of atoms.

Russian Fullerene


The introduction of metallic atoms into carbon cages results in the formation of endohedral metallofullerenes (EMF) that are technologically and scientifically vital owing to their distinctive constructions and optoelectronic properties.

A crew of researchers from the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) MISIS, Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials, and Kirensky Institute of Physics FRC KSC SB RAS have obtained, for the primary time, scandium containing EMFs and studied the method of their polymerization. Polymerization is the method by which unbound molecules hyperlink collectively to type a chemically bonded polymerized materials. Most polymerization reactions proceed at a quicker fee below excessive strain.

After the scandium containing fullerenes had been obtained from carbon condensate utilizing a high-frequency arc discharge plasma, they were placed in a diamond anvil cell, the most versatile and popular device used to create very high pressures.

Pavel Sorokin

Pavel Sorokin. Credit: NUST MISIS

“We have found that guest atoms facilitate the polymerization process. Scandium atoms change the fullerene bonding process completely by the polarization of the carbon bonds, which leads to an increase in their chemical activity. The material obtained was less rigid than pristine polymerized fullerenes, it was easier to obtain,” said Pavel Sorokin, senior researcher at the NUST MISIS Laboratory of Inorganic Nanomaterials.

The study will pave the way for studies of fullerite endohedral complexes as a macroscopic material and make it possible to consider EMF not only as a nanostructure of fundamental interest but also as a promising material that may be in demand in various fields of science and technology in the future, the researchers believe.

Reference: “Insights into fullerene polymerization under the high pressure: The role of endohedral Sc dimer” by S. V. Erohin, V. D. Churkin, N. G. Vnukov, M. A. Visotin, E. A. Kovalev, V. V. Zhukov, L. Yu. Antipina, Ye. V. Tomashevich, Yu. L. Mikhlin, M. Yu. Popov, G. N. Churilov, P. B. Sorokin and A. S. Fedorov, 8 December 2021, Carbon.
DOI: 10.1016/j.carbon.2021.12.040

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