The University of Alabama at Birmingham physicists have taken the first step in a five-year effort to create novel compounds that surpass diamonds in heat resistance and nearly rival them in hardness. This effort is being supported by a five-year, $20 million National Science Foundation award to create new materials and improve technologies using the fourth state of matter — plasma. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under a cooperative agreement, NSF EPSCoR RII-Track-1 Cooperative Agreement OIA-1655280, and a NASA Alabama Space Grant Consortium-Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, NNX15AJ18H.

Read more about the new material here.