Graphitization of Glassy Carbon after Compression at Room Temperature

TB Shiell and DG McCulloch and DR McKenzie and MR Field and B Haberl and R Boehler and BA Cook and C de Tomas and I Suarez-Martinez and NA Marks and JE Bradby, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 120, 215701 (2018).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.120.215701

Glassy carbon is a technologically important material with isotropic properties that is nongraphitizing up to similar to 3000 degrees C and displays complete or "superelastic" recovery from large compression. The pressure limit of these properties is not yet known. Here we use experiments and modeling to show permanent densification, and preferred orientation occurs in glassy carbon loaded to 45 GPa and above, where 45 GPa represents the limit to the superelastic and nongraphitizing properties of the material. The changes are explained by a transformation from its sp(2) rich starting structure to a sp(3) rich phase that reverts to fully sp(2) bonded oriented graphite during pressure release.

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