Volume 87, Number 1, July 2009
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||15 July 2009|
The search for superhard materials: Doped boron
Laboratoire Matériaux et Phénomènes Quantiques, Université Paris 7 - CNRS, UMR 7162 Bâtiment Condorcet, 75205 Paris Cedex 13, France, EU
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 22 June 2009
Superhard materials have numerous industrial applications and are then the subject of intense investigations. The -rhombohedral polymorph of boron is the second hardest elemental crystal (HV ~ 34 GPa). It is also very light and a p-type semiconductor. In the early seventies, it has been shown that the doping of boron with transition elements enhances its hardness by about 25%. We predict that, in general, heavily doped samples MBx, with x 31 or equivalently a dopant concentration larger than 3.2 at.%, should be ultrahard, i.e., HV > 43 GPa. The relevant dopants M are Al, Cu, Sc, Mn, Mg and Li. In addition to these properties, boron-rich materials have a very low volatility, a high chemical inertness and high melting point ( > 2400 °C). They are suitable for applications under extreme conditions and thermoelectric equipment.
PACS: 61.82.Fk – Semiconductors / 85.40.Ry – Impurity doping, diffusion and ion implantation technology / 62.20.-x – Mechanical properties of solids
© EPLA, 2009
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