A highly durable and moreover self-lubricating material has seen the light of day at a thin film laboratory at Linköping University.
It is an alloy of boron suboxide and yttrium, BOY, and was grown by the physicist Denis Music. The discovery is put forward in his doctoral dissertation.
The element boron and its compounds have many interesting properties, but they have been difficult to exploit industrially because production involves extreme process conditions. To produce a crystal of boron suboxide requires a temperature of 2000 degrees and extremely high pressure. Denis Music solved the problem by adding the metal yttrium, and, using thin film technology, managed to create a crystalline surface layer of the materal at a mere 300-400 degrees.
Dennis Music | alfa
Melting solid below the freezing point
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