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A joint research team between Oxford University and IBM has developed an 18-atom carbon ring, the first time in the history of this research range that one of them has been able to obtain a stable carbon image.
Carbon has very special qualities, as the same number of atoms can form from this element to make different materials. In diamonds, for example, carbon atoms accumulate so that each atom binds to four adjacent atoms, but if each atom is associated with only three neighboring atoms we get graphite in your pen lead.
This phenomenon is called inherent, and means that the different crystal structure of some elements leads to a significant difference in their physical and chemical properties, although they have the same structure.
The study, published in the journal Science on August 15, said that getting this annular type of carbon, in which each atom binds to one nearby atom, was an almost impossible task over 50 years ago, because of the instability of atoms. Carbon in those links.
But the Oxford and IBM joint research team circumvented this difficulty by creating a 24-carbon and 6-oxygen cyclic compound.Then, the researchers pulled two carbon atoms bound by two oxygen atoms in three precise steps, leaving 18 carbon atoms in a fixed annular form.
According to the new study, this joint research team was also able to capture images of the new annular carbon and some of its interactions through the atomic force microscope (AFM), a microscope with high analytical power used in the field of nanotechnology to monitor and detail the terrain of very small dimensions at atomic levels.
Oxford and IBM researchers hope this new discovery will open a door to the future of computing and artificial intelligence, especially because of the vast capabilities of these rings as semiconductors.
The discovery comes at a time when modern electronic processors, made of silicon, face the end of their technical boundaries, where it becomes difficult to develop day after day, at which point may help carbon products to jump and overcome this barrier because it is an ideal conductor of electricity.