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  • Big news in the world of tiny structuresscientists may have reached the theoretical limit of

  • how strong this particular material can get, designing the first ever super-light carbon

  • nanostructure that's stronger than diamond.

  • OK, I feel like here at Seeker we talk a lot about carbon nano- stuff.

  • But what do those words actually mean?

  • Well, carbon is a famously versatile element in the diversity of structures it can take,

  • from graphite like in the tip of a pencil to a diamond.

  • Both are just pure carbon, but with atoms arranged in different patterns.

  • So carbon nanostructure literally means any arrangement of carbon atoms that results in

  • something that can be measured on the nanometer scale, and that has novel or improved properties

  • or functions due to its size: that includes carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, 2D graphene,

  • carbon nanoparticles, and something called carbon nanohorns, which sounds really fun.

  • This latest development in the nanoworld of carbon comes from a team that has designed

  • something called carbon plate-nanolattices.

  • Under a scanning electron microscope, they look like little cubes.

  • The math indicated that this structure would be incredibly strong, but the difficulty of

  • making it meant it had never been done... until now.

  • This team's success was made possible by a 3D-printing process called two-photon polymerization

  • direct laser writing, which is quite a mouthful.

  • This is essentially 3D printing on the level of atoms and photons, which is definitely

  • the coolest thing I've heard about this week.

  • The technique focuses a laser inside a droplet of resin that is sensitive to ultraviolet

  • light.

  • The droplet is bombarded with two photons at a time, hence the name

  • that 'prints' the resin into a solid.

  • The team can use this process to create a particular arrangement of carbon struts and

  • braces that make the structure uniquely strong and lightas well as enabling it to be

  • a "closed-cell" structure.

  • This has been incredibly difficult to achieve so far in the manufacturing processusually

  • these nanostructures have to be constructed around a cylindrical scaffold, resulting in

  • a shape called "beam nanolattices."

  • This seemingly small shift from a beam to a plate structure results in a lattice that's

  • a whopping 639 percent stronger and 522 percent more rigid.

  • This means the new design approaches the Suquet and 'Hashin-Shtrikman upper bounds,' which

  • is a fancy way of saying this type of design proved to be just about as strong and tough

  • as it gets.

  • Like, we think this tiny carbon nanostructure is the strongest a material this porous can

  • ever beand we made it, in the lab, with a LASER!

  • This is the first time a material that reaches those limits has ever been experimentally

  • verified.

  • One of the scientists on this team put it really neatly when they said that at this

  • size, a structure like this essentially becomes a crystal, reducing its flaws and making it

  • stronger.

  • That's why these nanomaterials can be so freaking strongin this case, stronger than

  • diamond.

  • But how can a material so small possibly be of any use on a larger scale?

  • Well, incredibly strong nanomaterials in general promise great leaps forward in many fields,

  • from medicine to electronics.

  • But these carbon plate-nanolattices in particular could transform fields like aerospace engineering

  • because of their incredible strength while still maintaining a very low density.

  • Perfect for flying into space!

  • But there's a long way to go before we see these used in a spacecraft.

  • If you thought just making one cube was hard, think about scaling that up to industrialized

  • quantities.

  • Not an easy task.

  • This is just the first proof-of-concept for yet another carbon nano wonder material, but

  • with experiments like these yielding exciting results, we're well on our way to a tiny

  • and mighty world.

  • If you want more in carbon advancement, check out this video here, and subscribe to Seeker

  • for more boundary-pushing materials science.

  • And fun fact, scientists actually been making nanostructures out of carbon for the past

  • 35-ish years since Kroto, Smalley, and Curl discovered how to do it, and won the Nobel

  • Prize for it!

  • If you have other carbon nanostructure news you want us to cover, leave it a comment

  • down below, and thanks so much for watching.

  • I'll see ya next time.

Big news in the world of tiny structuresscientists may have reached the theoretical limit of

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このフォトンプリントされたカーボンはダイヤモンドよりも強い (This Photon-Printed Carbon Is Stronger Than Diamond)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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