An international team of scientists jointly with Professor Artem Oganov of Skoltech and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology worked out the chemical composition, crystal structure, and properties of Na2B30 -- a compound that remains stable at standard conditions and has long been the subject of heated debate.
The results of the study were published in Physical Review B.
Boron is a unique element capable of forming complex crystal modifications, all of which are superhard.
Moreover, boron and metal compounds -- borides -- often have highly complex chemical compositions and crystal structures which cannot always be uniquely determined through experiment.
Many borides display remarkable features of superhard, superconducting, or thermoelectric materials.
In the paper published in Physical Review B, the scientists looked at sodium borides at standard conditions.