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Chinese scientists develop glass as hard as a diamond

Using a diamond to cut glass is not news, but a research team in northern China recently developed the world’s hardest glassy material that can leave a deep scratch on the surface of a diamond with ease.

The (tentatively named) AM-III, a transparent, somewhat yellowish material made entirely of carbon, reached 113 gigapascals (GPa) in a Vickers hardness test.

In comparison, a natural diamond stone usually scores 50 to 70, with some man-made pieces topping at 100 GPa.

Though mass production could be years away, and the price is unlikely to be cheap, a bulletproof window made with the AM-III could be 20 to 100 times tougher than some mainstream products currently in use.

The glassy material does not look as attractive as jewellery, but it has some wide applications in the hi-tech industry, the researchers say.

The AM-III, for instance, is a semiconductor almost as efficient as silicon. This ability to transfer electric current at will makes it a strong candidate for use in photoelectric devices, including weapons, that need to function in extreme environments such as high pressure and temperatures. Read More at

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