Diamond nanowires with a diameter of only three atoms have been created

Naked Science editors

Diamond nanowires with a diameter of only three atoms have been created

American scientists have learned how to obtain nanowires with a conductive center with a diameter of three atoms and “diamond” insulation.

The science
# copper

© Wikipedia

“We showed how you can get tiny, conductive filaments of the smallest possible diameter, which are almost completely self-assembling,” says one of the authors of the work. “The process is simple, it is a synthesis“ in one bowl ”, it is enough to mix the ingredients together and get the result in half an hour.” A promising technology Nicholas Melosh of Stanford University and colleagues at the US Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory describe in an article published by the journal Nature Materials

Scientists used a suspension of adamantane crystals – arranged in a hexagonal diamond lattice with ten carbon atoms. It is known that they actively “stick” to each other under the action of van der Waals forces. The authors added sulfur to them and placed them in a solution containing copper, which already binds to sulfur on its own. As a result, due to self-assembly of adamantane, such structures were connected to each other, forming the thinnest nanowires with a conducting “core” of sulfur and copper atoms – and an insulating carbon, “diamond” shell.

Self-assembly of “nanowires”: diamond microcrystals are stabilized by sulfur (yellow) and copper (red-brown) atoms / © SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

According to the authors, this is not their first experience in obtaining such “nanowires”. By combining different metals — such as zinc or cadmium, silver or iron — and different substitutes for adamantane — such as carboranes — structures with different properties can be synthesized to suit different applications. Some are suitable for lighting, others for capturing the energy of the sun, and others for piezoelectricity. “It’s easy to imagine clothing generating energy from these wires,” says one scientist.

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The science
# copper


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