A solar prominence erupts in August 2012

Scientists using powerful computer simulations, they found a new material with a higher melting point than any known substance.

 A solar prominence erupts in August 2012, as captured by SDO.   Image credit wikimedia

Researchers at Brown University by simulating physical processes at the atomic level, predicted that a material made from hafnium, nitrogen, and carbon, has a record-setting melting point about two-thirds the temperature at the surface of the sun.

The researchers then used those findings to look for compounds that might maximize those properties. They found would have a similarly high heat of fusion but a smaller difference between the entropies of the solid and the liquid.

Van de Walle and Hong are now collaborating with Alexandra Navrotsky’s lab at the University of California–Davis to synthesize the compound and perform the melting point experiments.

“The advantage of starting with the computational approach is we can try lots of different combinations very cheaply and find ones that might be worth experimenting with in the lab.”

A new Material with highest record Melting Point

Image credit Van de Walle lab/Brown University

The work could ultimately point toward new high-performance materials for a variety of uses, from plating for gas turbines to heat shields on high-speed aircraft. But whether the HfN0.38C0.51 compound itself will be a useful material isn’t clear, van de Walle says.

“Melting point isn’t the only property that’s important

[in material applications]. You would need to consider things like mechanical properties and oxidation resistance and all sorts of other properties. So taking those things into account you may want to mix other things with this that might lower the melting point. But since you’re already starting so high, you have more leeway to adjust other properties. So I think this gives people an idea of what can be done.”

via Gizmag

source Brown University