Researchers from the University of Bayreuth (Germany) can be proud of the double achievement. Experimenting with nitrogen, they got him a hitherto unknown form a new substance. This two-dimensional crystal of atoms of nitrogen, United in zigzag, causing the whole structure resembles graphene, but is much more similar to black phosphorus. Hence the name – the researchers dubbed the new “black nitrogen”.
One of the properties of the Periodic system of chemical elements having the periods on which it is possible to predict the recurrence properties of the first elements from behind them. This rule of periodicity applies to allotropy, the existence of such forms of substances that are similar to the heavier elements in this period. For example, ozone is an allotrope of oxygen, and the graphite and diamond allotropes of carbon.
These allotropes are many and only to nitrogen, scientists knew only one substance dinitrogen. Because of this, the nitrogen seemed the black sheep, violated an important rule and was a kind of exception. But getting the “black nitrogen” everything fell into place – the allotrope of nitrogen exists, the rule works. This is the second achievement of German scientists.
Unfortunately, practical use open yet. To obtain the “black nitrogen” was used a diamond anvil with the pressure to 1.4 million atmospheres and the temperature above 4000 ° C. In their absence, an unstable substance breaks down quickly, so don’t even managed to measure its properties. But in this case, the important fact of discovery, scientists were convinced that we are moving in the right direction.