A material made from hafnium, nitrogen and carbon could be the highest-melting solid ever found, according to computer predictions by a team at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The calculations reported in the journal Physical Review B (Rapid Communications) suggests that HfN0.38C0.51 could have a melting point of more than 4400 Kelvin. "The advantage of starting with the computational approach is we can try lots of different combinations very cheaply and find ones that might be worth experimenting with in the lab," explains team leader Axel van de Walle. Next step is to synthesize this substance for testing.
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