By Cay Leytham-Powell

Principal investigator
Yiming Hu

National Science Foundation (NSF); National Natural Science Foundation of China

Collaboration + support
JILA; Liquid Crystal Materials Research Center; Qingdao University of Science and Technology

For over a decade, scientists have attempted to synthesize a new form of carbon called graphyne with limited success. That endeavor, though, is now at an end, thanks to new research from Wei Zhang’s lab at CU Boulder.

Graphyne has long been of interest to scientists because of its similarities to the “wonder material” graphene—another form of carbon that earned the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics.

However, despite decades of work, only a few fragments had ever been created before now.

This new research fills a longstanding gap in carbon material science, potentially opening brand new possibilities for electronics, optics and semiconducting material research.

“This could be the next-generation wonder material,” Zhang said. “That’s why people are very excited.”

Image: Crystal structure of a layer of graphyne.

Image by Yiming Hu