- Amorphous carbonia
Amorphous carbonia, also called a-carbonia or a-CO2, is an exotic amorphous solid form of
carbon dioxidethat is analogous to amorphous silicaglass. It was first made in the laboratory in 2006by subjecting dry iceto high pressures (40-50 gigapascal, or 400,000 to 500,000 atmospheres). Amorphous carbonia is not stable at ordinary pressures -- it quickly reverts to normal CO2. [ [http://www.newscientisttech.com/article.ns?id=dn9339 Carbon dioxide glass created in the lab] 15 June 2006, www.newscientisttech.com. Retrieved 3 August 2006]
While normally carbon dioxide forms molecular crystals, where individual molecules are bound by
Van der Waals forces, in amorphous carbonia a covalently bound three-dimensional network of atoms is formed, in a structure analogous to silicon dioxideor germanium dioxideglass.
Mixtures of a-carbonia and a-
silicamay be a prospective very hard and stiff glass material stable at room temperature. Such glass may serve as protective coatings, e.g. in microelectronics.
The discovery has implications for
astrophysics, as interiors of big planets may contain amorphous solid carbon dioxide.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5083222.stm Dry ice creates toughened glass]
* [http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/10/6/7/1 Physicsweb: Dry ice forms ultrahard glass]
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