RUDN University Physicists Described a New Type of Amorphous Solid Bodies
Unlike its crystalline form, natural amorphous carbon belongs to the sp2 type. A major study of the structure and elemental composition of sp2 amorphous carbon was conducted at the initiative and with the participation of a team of physicists from RUDN University. In the course of the study, the team also took spectral measurements using photoelectronic spectroscopy, inelastic neutron scattering, infrared absorption, and Raman scattering. Based on the results of the study, the team concluded that sp2 amorphous carbon is a fractal structure based on nanosized graphene domains that are surrounded by atoms of other elements (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and so on). With this hypothesis, the team virtually re-wrote the history of amorphous carbon that has been known to humanity since the first-ever man-made fire.
“The discovery and experimental confirmation of the graphene nature of the ‘black gold’ will completely change the theory, modeling, and interpretation of experiments with this class of substances. However, some questions remain unanswered. What does solid-state physics make of this amorphous state of solid carbon? What role does amorphous carbon with sp2-hybridization play in the bigger picture? We tried to find our own answers,” said Elena Sheka, a Ph.D. in Physics and Mathematics, and a Consulting Professor at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics and Natural Sciences, RUDN University.
The team spent two years thoroughly studying the nature of amorphous carbon. Other results of this ambitious project were published in Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, and Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, Nanomaterials. Together, these works confirm a breakthrough achieved by the physicists of RUDN University in this complex field of physics.
“We have analyzed many studies on amorphous sp2 carbon from the point of view of our general understanding of amorphous solid bodies. Based on our research, we can confirm that it belongs to a new type of amorphous substances,” added Elena Sheka from RUDN University.
The results of the study were published in the Fullerenes, Nanotubes and Carbon Nanostructures journal.
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Allowing for quantum corrections, the Einstein-Lovelock theory describes black holes with an equation that contains an infinite number of terms. However, according to a RUDN University physicist, the geometry of a black hole in this theory can be presented in a compact form, and a limited number of terms can suffice to describe the observed values. This could help scientists study black holes in theories with quantum corrections to Einstein’s equations.