R&D to discover or synthesize new materials that are harder or comparable in hardness to diamond has become of considerable interest due to some of the limitations of diamond such as the fact that diamond is stable only at low temperatures and in the presence of oxygen, and it is not a suitable abrasive when working with ferrous alloys because it forms iron carbides. The search for such materials has resulted in the development of cubic boron nitride and has prompted intense activities in the exploratory synthesis of tetrahedral carbon nitride. An important objective has become the synthesis of superhard materials that are more useful than diamond. Such materials are expected to be thermally more stable. The most important challenge is the development of novel chemical and physical methods that would provide the desired structure and bulk composition that exhibit properties superior to diamond, including thermal stability. Researchers at Arizona State University have developed synthetic methods for an entire new family of such novel compounds. In addition, the research tem has developed a new class of materials with novel ternary and quaternary compositions that are isoelectronic to diamond. These compositions have utility in high pressure or laser ablation syntheses of extremely dense, superhard materials of the same composition with structures and properties related to those of diamond. These new compounds will enable the manufacture alternatives to diamond for high performance applications and at extreme conditions. These materials are also important because of their outstanding thermal, chemical and mechanical stability as well as their novel dielectric and optoelectronic properties.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Mar 19 2001|