Mohammed Al Fahim, 29, in collaboration with other scientists has published details of Novamene, an allotrope, or physical and structural form, of the element carbon.
Currently, Novamene exists in theoretical form as a computer simulation, as it has not yet been physically created in a lab. Novamene’s key characteristic is that it combines structural elements of two other forms of carbon, namely diamond, which does not conduct electricity, and graphene, which is highly conductive.
In a paper published in the British scientific journal Heliyon, the scientists suggested that a hexagonal diamond structure [in which the carbon atoms are arranged in three dimensions] could be “stitched together” with graphene, which has a two-dimensional hexagonal structure.
“Different allotropes would serve as an ideal platform, providing flexibility for the desired application,” the researchers wrote.
As well as diamond and graphene, other allotropes of carbon include graphite, charcoal and soot. There are also fullerenes, which were discovered in the 1980s when it was found that molecules with 60 or 70 carbon atoms had been produced in the laboratory. Existing as spheres, tubes and other forms, and having widespread uses in electronics, nanotechnology and other areas, the fullerenes earned the three researchers credited with their discovery – Robert Curl, Sir Harold Kroto and Richard Smalley – the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1996.
Such discoveries have led to Nobel Prize winners in the past, with Sir Andre Geim and Sir Konstantin Novoselov given the physics prize in 2010 after synthesising graphene in a laboratory.
Source: The National, UAE