Computational Physics Group
Shock-induced reaction synthesis of cubic boron nitride
1School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA,
2Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame,
Indiana 46556, USA,
3Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA,
4Nuclear Science Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA,
5Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame,
Indiana 46556, USA.
Here, we report ultra-fast (0.1--5 microseconds) shock-induced reactions in the 3B-TiN system, leading to the direct synthesis of cubic boron nitride, which is extremely rare in nature and is the second hardest material known. Composite powders were produced through high-energy ball milling to provide intimate mixing and subsequently shocked using an explosive charge. High-resolution transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction confirm the formation of nanocrystalline grains of c-BN produced during the metathetical reaction between boron and titanium nitride. Our results illustrate the possibility of rapid reactions enabled by high-energy ball milling possibly occurring in the solid state on incredibly short timescales. This process may provide a route for the discovery and fabrication of advanced compounds.
The reported data are presented in the supplementary material. This work was supported by the Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, under the Award No. DE-NA0002377 as part of the Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program II. M. T. Beason was supported by the Department of Defense (DoD) through the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship (NDSEG) Program.
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(c) 2018 University of Notre Dame and Prof. Karel Matous