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gold carbide is a new type of nanocrystal made from gold atoms and carbon. These nanocrystals are atomically stable and exhibit a high bulk modulus. They are also extremely light, weighing only 141 g/cm3 at room temperature and have a strong chemical bond between the carbon and the gold atoms.
In addition to being a new type of metal, gold carbide is an important step in the quest for a crystalline material with gold carbon bonds and other unique properties. It is believed to have originated in the 1800s as a gold acetylide and has since been reported to be an ‘electrolyte’ (a substance with a low electronegativity) and an ‘interstitial’ (an interstitial is an unstructured crystal).
Various types of carbides are produced by reacting carbon with a metal element, usually at a high temperature. They are used in industrial, engineering and household applications for their hardness, strength, and resistance to chemical attack at higher temperatures than those of their parent elements.
Carbides can be made from carbon and a metal oxide, an intermediate transition metal ion, or a nonmetal, such as tungsten or iron. The most common carbides are derived from silicon and tungsten.
The most popular form of tungsten carbide is a metal alloy that has a carbon content of between 5 and 20 percent. It is a very durable and hard material and can be polished to an exceptionally high finish.
The most obvious advantage of tungsten carbide over other metals is that it is much harder and denser, making it less likely to crack or shatter in the case of an impact. It also resists scratching and tarnish and is hypoallergenic so it doesn’t cause ring rash or other skin problems in those who are sensitive to traditional metals.