August 21st, 2013 by

Researchers at a university in Texas have published a paper on carbine, a form of carbon that may have characteristics that make it more useful than graphene. Carbyne consists of strings of single carbon atoms. It is theorized that the material is stronger than graphene, carbon nanotubes, or diamonds. Carbyne has been known for a while, but this is the first time researchers have theorized its properties when exposed to tension, bending, and twisting. The new results are theoretical because researchers have only been successful at synthesizing short, single strands of carbine. To experiment with the material, researchers need to determine how to combine the strands to make a sheet. The researchers have complete a mechanical modeling of the material. According to the model, the tensile stiffness of a carbyne chain would be around double that of a carbon nanotube or sheet of graphene, and more than three times that of diamond. It’s specific strength is also higher than any other known material, and it has a predicted Young’s modulus of 32.7 TPa – over 30 times than of graphene. The major concern in moving forward with experiments involving carbyne is the material’s stability. At room temperature the material reacts with itself and becomes explosive.