PerspectiveMaterials Science

Designing Superhard Materials

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Science  27 May 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5726, pp. 1268-1269
DOI: 10.1126/science.1109830

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In their Perspective, Kaner et al. describe recent efforts to make a material that matches or exceeds the hardness of diamond. Such a material must contain highly directional, short, and strong bonds. Hardness may also be increased by introducing a nanometer-scale structure that hinders the migration of dislocations. Despite all the scientific efforts to find a material that surpasses it, diamond remains the hardest known material. And hardness is not enough: To replace diamond in practical applications, a new superhard material must also match its other properties, such as chemical inertness.