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Previously unknown form of magnesium carbide synthesized

An international team of researchers from the United States and France, along with the head of a state-funded "mega grant" laboratory based at MIPT, Artyom Oganov, has synthesized a previously unknown form of magnesium carbide. This material can be used for synthesizing carbon nanostructures and other compounds.

Details can be found in an article published in the journal Inorganic Chemistry.

A team of researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science (United States), Paris-Sorbonne University, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble,the SOLEIL synchrotron facility (France), the State University of New York at Stony Brookin the United States, and MIPT has synthesized and studied samples of a substance named beta magnesium carbide (Mg2C3).

To synthesize the compound, the group used presses that are able to create pressures of up to several tens of GPa (hundreds of thousands of atmospheric pressures) and that can heat a sample to more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. Using X-ray analysis, NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and optical spectroscopy they collected data showing that this substance has a unique atomic structure.

Experiments showed that the new version of magnesium carbide retains its structure after pressure is reduced to normal and temperatures return to normal room temperatures. It is still too early to speak about any devices that could use the obtained substance, the researchers say, but they add that, nevertheless,Mg2C3 is a promising element for synthesizing other compounds, including various carbon nanostructures.

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The above story is based on materials provided by Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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