New nanomaterial is cheaper and harder than diamonds

A group of Chinese physicists have created a new nanomaterial. To do this, they improved cubic boron nitride (elbor), which is superior in hardness and other quality characteristics to synthetic diamonds.

Now it has been possible to create this material based on elbor nanoparticles with a size of fourteen nanometers, this allows boron nitride to come close to diamonds. A subsequent increase in hardness was not possible, because small nanoparticles do not bond well with each other due to anomalies appearing on the faces of the crystals being glued.

But scientists were able to overcome this and as a starting material they used not cubic boron nitride, but its variety, which is informally called "bulbous".

Later, the developers tested the nanomaterial for strength and tried to break it using high pressure. But, as it turned out, development is harder than diamond.

The new nanomaterial can be used both as an abrasive and as a coating for cutting tools.