Ultimate metastable solubility of boron in diamond: synthesis of superhard diamondlike BC5

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Jan 9;102(1):015506. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.015506. Epub 2009 Jan 9.


Here, we report the synthesis of cubic BC5 (c-BC5), the diamondlike B-C phase with the highest boron content ever achieved, at 24 GPa and about 2200 K, using both a laser-heated diamond anvil cell and large-volume multianvil apparatus. The synthesized phase is low compressible (bulk modulus of 335 GPa), conductive, and exhibits extreme Vickers hardness (71 GPa), unusually high for superhard materials fracture toughness (9.5 MPa m;{0.5}), and high thermal stability (up to 1900 K); this makes it an exceptional superabrasive and promising material for high-temperature electronics.