Feeling the pressure

By investigating the effect of pressure on glassy carbon, scientists gain deeper insights into its structural and behavioural changes

Scientists have explored how high pressure affects glassy carbon, getting a better understanding of the changes in its structure and properties.

Glassy carbon is a form of carbon that combines glassy and ceramic properties with those of graphite. It has many important physical and electrical characteristics, including resistance to high temperatures, superelasticity and low electrical resistance. It is used in electrodes and high-temperature crucibles, and as a component in prosthetics.

However, the effect of high pressures on its structure and properties are not well understood.

Now, a team of scientists in the United States and Australia, including researchers at Curtin University in Perth, has used diamond anvil cells to compress samples of glassy carbon at pressures from 35 gigapascals to over 45 gigapascals. They found that at pressures exceeding 45 gigapascals the samples lost their tangled nanostructures, signifying an upper limit to glassy carbon’s superelastic properties.

This article was first published by Springer Nature. Read the original article here.