A team of researchers has published a study that explores the possibility that diamond nanothreads, one-dimensional crystals that are capped with hydrogen and held together by chemical bonds to allow them to form tiny chains, could be designed in a way to make them more durable and create useful structures out of them, according to Phys.
The results are on the heels of last month's research conducted by scientists at Pennsylvania State University that initially created the diamond nanothreads, although they claimed to become less durable as they increase in length.
In the current study, computer modeling was used to test the nanothreads under different situations and estimate how they would hold up. They found that the durability of the material hinges largely on its configuration at the molecular level, leaving open plenty of opportunity to modify this configuration and increase durability, according to Digital Trends.
"Its highly tunable ductility together with its ultra-light density and high Young's modulus makes diamond nanothread ideal for creation of extremely strong three-dimensional nano-architectures," the researchers wrote.
The original experiments that created the nanothreads did so using liquid benzene - after exposing the liquid to high levels of pressure, they slowly decreased pressure levels in order to create the unique chains. This research is the building blocks that the current computer modeling experiment used as its reference point in order to find ways to increase durability.
Nanothreads have the potential to be used for numerous unique aerospace applications, including as the threads that lift space elevators from Earth to Mars, according to Discovery News.