Wurtzite Boron – The World’s Hardest Naturally Occurring Substance

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wurtzite boron (wurtzite boron nitride) is an interesting new material that has been found to be harder than diamond. Scientists have dubbed it the “world’s hardest naturally occurring substance,” and it may soon be replacing diamond in some applications.

The mineral wurtzite boron is so rare that it’s almost unknown to scientists. But it’s been simulated, and it can resist more than 18% more stress than diamond.

Its superhard properties make it an attractive replacement for diamond in some applications, such as in resistance materials and antiwear additives. It also holds promise for advanced electronics because of its wide band gap and large spontaneous polarization.

Boron nitride has been used in numerous technologies, such as high-temperature gas turbines, fuel cells, and lithium batteries. It is also a promising material for thermal barriers in power stations and aerospace industries because it has high insulating properties.

BN can be formed by ammonolysis or nitridation of boron trioxide in aqueous or alkaline solutions. It can be synthesized in the form of powders or in thin films through chemical vapor deposition.

In contrast to cubic boron nitride, which is formed at 1730degC and 3230degC, wurtzite boron oxidizes at about 1700degC. This property has made it suitable for use as a thermal barrier in high-temperature fuel cells and as an oxygen absorber in aerospace applications.

It has a high specific heat capacity, which is critical for the energy conversion process in fuel cells. It also has excellent thermal conductivity and high dielectric constant.