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Materials harder than diamond?

Authors

  • Ralf Riedel

    Corresponding author
    1. Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Institut fur Werkstoffwissenschaft, Pulvermetallurgisches Laboratorium Heisenbergstrasse 5, W-7000 Stuttgart 80 (FRG)
    • Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Institut fur Werkstoffwissenschaft, Pulvermetallurgisches Laboratorium Heisenbergstrasse 5, W-7000 Stuttgart 80 (FRG)
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Abstract

The hardest known materials, diamond and cubic boron nitride, are thermodynamically stable only at high pressure and temperature. Chemical vapor deposition and sputtering have offered low-pressure alternatives to the traditional synthetic methods and these techniques have recently been exploited for the production of new super-hard materials such as boron carbonitride and carbon nitride, which could be harder than diamond.

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