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A research group at Ehime University, Japan has successfully synthesized a polycrystalline solid that is harder than natural diamond, the hardest-known substance.
According to the research groupís leader, Tetsuo Irifune, this laboratory-made polycrystalline solid is twice as hard as naturally occurring polycrystalline diamond, which accounts for 1% of natural diamonds. The news was announced in todayís edition of Nature magazine. The research group took a spin off the conventional method of diamond synthesis by heating graphite all the way to between 1,800 and 2,500 degrees Celcius at between 12 and 25 gigapascals of pressure.
It is hoped that the ultra-hard and ultra-heat resistant polycrystalline solids will be useful in industry, for processing hard objects, drilling rocks, etc.
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