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Another New Form of Carbon – It’s A Weird One


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Another New Form of Carbon – It’s A Weird One


Here’s a surprise: a report of a completely new (and rather unusual) allotrope of carbon. There doesn’t appear to be a manuscript out there yet, but the results were presented earlier this month at a conference in Richmond and earlier this year at the APS meeting, and caused a stir. Weirdly, this one appears to have properties that are best described as semi-metallic: it’s harder than stainless steel (although much lighter), electrically conductive, reflects light like a mirror, and is ferromagnetic. Those properties could turn it into a very useful industrial substance, depending on how it can be produced and worked.

This work was revealed by Joel Therrien of UMass-Lowell. He was trying to produce “pentagraphene“, a predicted-but-never-observed form of carbon consisting of nothing but irregular five-membered rings. (That would be a rather odd substance, too, although there are arguments about whether it would actually be a stable form).

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