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Scientists computationally design new metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum

• by brian wang

Boldyrev, along with scientists Iliya Getmanskii, Vitaliy Koval, Rusian Minyaev and Vladimir Minkin of Southern Federal University in Rostov-on Don, Russia.

Above there is an image from Chemists from Utah State University, USA and Southern Federal University, Russia, showing computationally designed a new, metastable, ultra-light crystalline form of aluminum. Credit: Iliya Getmanskii, Southern Federal University, Russia

"My colleagues' approach to this challenge was very innovative," says Boldyrev, professor in USU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. "They started with a known crystal lattice, in this case, a diamond, and substituted every carbon atom with an aluminum tetrahedron."

The team's calculations confirmed such a structure is a new, metastable, lightweight form of crystal aluminum. And to their amazement, it has a density of only 0.61 gram per cubic centimeter, in contrast to convention aluminum's density of 2.7 grams per cubic centimeter

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