Journal of Materiomics
Heat-treated glassy carbon under pressure exhibiting superior hardness, strength and elasticity
Meng Hu, Shuangshuang Zhang, Bing Liu, Yingju Wu, Kun Luo, Zihe Li, Mengdong Ma, Dongli Yu, Lingyu Liu, Yufei Gao, Zhisheng Zhao, Yoshio Kono, Ligang Bai, Guoyin Shen, Wentao Hu, Yang Zhang, Ralf Riedel, Bo Xu, Julong He, Yongjun Tian
Glassy carbon (GC) is a type of non-graphitizing disordered carbon material at ambient pressure and high temperatures, which has been widely used due to its excellent mechanical properties. Here we report the changes in the microstructure and mechanical properties of GC treated at high pressures (up to 5 GPa) and high temperatures. The formation of intermediate sp2–sp3 phases is identified at moderate treatment temperatures before the complete graphitization of GC, by analyzing synchrotron X-ray diffraction, Raman spectra, and transmission electron microscopy images. The intermediate metastable carbon materials exhibit superior mechanical properties with hardness reaching up to 10 GPa and compressive strength reaching as high as 2.5 GPa, nearly doubling those of raw GC, and improving elasticity and thermal stability. The synthesis pressure used in this study can be achieved in the industry on a commercial scale, enabling the scalable synthesis of this type of strong, hard, and elastic carbon materials.