For years graphene has been deemed the next big “miracle material” that would allow engineers to build everything from super-fast computer chips to nearly paper-thin and indestructible electronic devices. But now scientists from the University of Vienna in Austria have synthesized a material called carbyne that is stronger than graphene and twice as stiff as the stiffest known materials, reports Nature Materials.
Carbyne is a one-dimensional chain of carbon atoms linked to each other, and its existence has been formulated for quite some time. The problem in the past with carbyne is that due to its highly reactive nature, it destroys itself as soon as it’s manufactured. But now scientists have been able to create a non-destructive form of carbyne that is stronger than graphene by, somewhat ironically, wrapping it in a tube made of graphene– but as soon as it is removed from the graphene tube, it self-destructs.