Long-range ordered carbon clusters: A crystalline material with amorphous building blocks

Lin Wang, Bingbing Liu, Hui Li, Wenge Yang, Yang Ding, Stanislav V. Sinogeikin, Yue Meng, Zhenxian Liu, Xiao Cheng Zeng, Wendy L. Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Solid-state materials can be categorized by their structures into crystalline (having periodic translation symmetry), amorphous (no periodic and orientational symmetry), and quasi-crystalline (having orientational but not periodic translation symmetry) phases. Hybridization of crystalline and amorphous structures at the atomic level has not been experimentally observed. We report the discovery of a long-range ordered material constructed from units of amorphous carbon clusters that was synthesized by compressing solvated fullerenes. Using x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, and quantum molecular dynamics simulation, we observed that, although carbon-60 cages were crushed and became amorphous, the solvent molecules remained intact, playing a crucial role in maintaining the long-range periodicity. Once formed, the high-pressure phase is quenchable back to ambient conditions and is ultra-incompressible, with the ability to indent diamond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)825-828
Number of pages4
Issue number6096
StatePublished - Aug 17 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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