New super-hard and incompressible conductive material created

In a new study presented in Nature Communications a new, previously unknown material, rhenium nitride pernitride is described. According to researchers from the University of Bayreuth who developed it, this new material could prove very useful for technological applications.

It is, in fact, a super-hard metal conductor that the researchers were able to achieve by exploiting properties previously considered to be incompatible. The new material can withstand very high pressures so that it can be compared to a diamond.

This metallically conductive, super-hard and ultra-incompressible material was considered as impossible to realize because it is property, the ones that distinguish it, considered improbable if they must exist simultaneously in the same material. However, this new study shows that it was a misconception.

“We were able to do something that, according to previous forecasts, should not have been possible, stimulating and encouraging further theoretical and experimental work in the field of high-pressure material synthesis,” explains Leonid Dubrovinsky, one of the researchers involved in the work together with Natalia Dubrovinskaia.