Scientists Create Graphyne - The Revolutionary Material

The development of various carbon allotropes (forms) has long baffled scientists because of the element’s versatility and effectiveness in various industries.

FREMONT, CA: Over the last decade, scientists have been attempting to synthesise a new form of carbon called Graphyne but had very little success. But researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have ultimately succeeded in creating this elusive allotrope of carbon.  This research fills the gap in carbon material science and unlocks new opportunities for electrons. The University's researchers have documented their methodology in a study titled, “Synthesis of γ-graphyne using dynamic covalent chemistry,” which was published in Nature Synthesis.

The development of various carbon allotropes (forms) has long baffled scientists because of the element’s versatility and effectiveness in various industries. Carbon allotropes can be constructed in diverse ways depending on how hybrids of carbons and corresponding bonds are employed. The most prominent allotropes include graphite which is used in pencil and diamonds. They are created out of ‘sp2’ carbon and ‘sp3’ carbon respectively. Scientists have used conventional methods to create different allotropes over the past couple of years, including fullerene and graphene. But unfortunately, these techniques do not allow for other types of carbon to be synthesised in any kind of enormous capacity and this is needed for creating graphyne.

Due to this barrier, graphyne remained a theoretical material, presumed to have exceptional electrical, optical, and mechanical properties. Scientists approached Wei Zhang – the co-author of the research article who is a professor of chemistry at CU Boulder and studies reversible chemistry. Reversible chemistry enables bonds to seld-correct, hence creating possibilities to generate new kinds of lattices like synthetic polymers. Zhang and his team employed a procedure called alkyne metathesis along with thermodynamics and kinetic control to construct a new kind of material that could rival the conductivity of graphene.