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Fullerite derivatives synthesized with a catalytic polymerization reaction at a relatively low-pressure range of 0.5–4 GPa show unique mechanical properties: elastic recovery is 98% and hardness possibly approaches 100 GPa. Structure of the samples is also unique: one composes from fragments of C60 molecules linked by the covalent bonds. To obtain the homogeneous crack-free samples, we synthesized B4C–fullerite derivatives composite which show a 550 MPa flexural stress, a 2250 MPa compressive strength, and a 28 GPa hardness and have density of 2.2 g/cm3.
Cubic, hexagonal BN, and graphite were heated with the aid of cw CO2 or pulsed YAG laser in a diamond anvil cell at pressures up to 35 GPa. The recovered samples were analyzed by high resolution and scanning electron microscopy, micro-Raman, and X-ray diffraction using synchrotron radiation. Melting of hBN and cBN was achieved. Microcrystals of hBN or cBN were grown from the fluid of BN in nitrogen or argon. Analysis of the hBN-cBN transitions in dependence on pressure showed that the hBN-cBN-liquid triple point is located at 9 GPa. In the transient region between the two phases in the same sample amorphous BN was found revealing the microscopic mechanism of diffusion-like first-order transitions. BN nanotubes growing from an amorphous state at the surface of the crystals were discovered. Under nanosecond pulse laser heating graphite transforms to a diamond-like structure. Spherical droplets and nanocrystals were condensed from the ablated carbon. A compound of nitrogen with carbon was found.
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