Diamonds will no longer be the hardest substance in the world! At present, scientists have artificially synthesized nano-scale cubic boron nitride, which has exceeded the hardness of diamonds.
According to the American Wired magazine, diamonds are not the hardest material in the world. Currently, the Nature magazine published in January pointed out that a new material has surpassed the hardness of diamonds.
A research team from scientists at the University of Chicago and other universities pointed out that the superhard material cubic boron nitride is a form of ultra-hard material that compresses boron nitride particles. Scientists have shown that this transparent material even exceeds the hardness of diamonds, with a Vickers hardness of 108 GPa, while synthetic diamonds have a Vickers hardness of 100 GPa and that the material is twice the hardness of commercial cubic boron nitride.
The biggest secret of this material is the nanostructure. Tian Yongjun and other researchers began to use boron nitride particles like the onion structure (like the Russian doll structure) to compress to 15GPa at 1800 degrees Celsius, that's about 68,000 times the pressure of a car's tires, this crystalline material will recombine to form nanostructures.
Under the nanocrystalline structure, neighboring atoms share a boundary, which is like some apartment house. To make the material harder, scientists reduced the volume of the particles, making it harder to puncture.
Tian explained that the nanostructure makes the material harder to puncture. For boron nitride, the average size of the characteristic strength is 4 nanometers, but the corresponding result is that CBN is very stable at high temperatures.
In the future, the price of the superhard material will be comparable to the current commercial price of less hard CBN, which may be used in machining, grinding, drilling and cutting tools, as well as in the manufacture of scientific instruments.