Scientists from Bar-Ilan University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology say that using nanotechnology, they have discovered a material 40 times harder. Professors Eli Altus, Harold Basch and Shmaryahu Hoz, with doctoral student Lior Itzhaki have published their findings in the Internet edition of the world’s most influential chemistry journal, Angewdte Chemie. The team broke the world hardness record by combining quantum mechanics, chemistry and mechanical engineering. They synthesized polyyne, a superhard molecular rod comprised of acetylene units – that resists 40 times more longitudinal compression than a diamond. Polyyne has the strongest bonds in carbon chemistry.
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