Graphene-based material diamene becomes harder than a diamond upon impact

Researchers at the City University of New York developed an ultra-thin flexible material called diamene made from two layers of graphene that temporarily becomes harder than a diamond upon impact.

Graphene, consisting of one layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb structure, is a super material used in anything from anti-electromagnetic field paint to shoes.

Graphite, graphene and diamonds are made entirely of carbon, but the atoms are arranged differently in each material, giving them distinct properties such as hardness, flexibility and electrical conduction.

The new material, called diamene, developed by the researchers consists of to layers of graphene. Upon impact, the ultra-thin sheet material hardens into a diamond-like material. The interesting part is that this effect can only be created with two layers of graphene, but not with more or less. It’s the thinnest film with the stiffness and hardness of a diamond ever created, according to the researchers.

The team also found the moment of conversion resulted in a sudden reduction of electric current, suggesting diamene could have interesting electronic and spintronic properties. The new findings will likely have applications in developing wear-resistant protective coatings and ultra-light bullet-proof films.

Photo: Ella Maru Studio