Potentially the world's most robust material, carbyne is a linear acetylenic carbon molecule: an infinitely long carbon chain. Its tensile strength is up to three times that of diamond and almost twice that of carbon nanotubes. It is also highly conductive, both thermally and electrically.
Technology Life Cycle

Technology Life Cycle


Initial phase where new technologies are conceptualized and developed. During this stage, technical viability is explored and initial prototypes may be created.

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Lab Environment

Experimental analyses are no longer required as multiple component pieces are tested and validated altogether in a lab environment.

Technology Diffusion

Technology Diffusion


First to adopt new technologies. They are willing to take risks and are crucial to the initial testing and development of new applications.


Carbyne is a linear acetylenic carbon molecule: an infinitely long carbon chain and is potentially the world's most robust material, with a tensile strength that is more than twice that of any other known material. Carbyne is also highly conductive, both thermally and electrically, making it useful in various applications.

In the field of electronics, for example, carbyne could be used to create more efficient and powerful electronic devices due to its high conductivity. It could also be used in the development of stronger and more lightweight materials for use in transportation, such as in the construction of aeroplanes or cars. Additionally, carbyne's exceptional strength and durability could be harnessed in the development of protective gear for military or law enforcement applications.

This new material is currently stable only when inside nanotubes and chain length are still limited. Furthermore, the molecules can be turned into a semiconductor when twisted. With unusual mechanical and electric properties, it has the potential to make nanomechanics, spintronic devices, and micro-electro-mechanical systems. It also has the potential for energy storage matrices like batteries and supercapacitors due to its extensive surface area in relation to mass, which is important for energy density.

Despite its many potential applications, carbyne is still in the early stages of development, and there are many challenges that must be overcome before it can be widely adopted. For example, it can be difficult to synthesize the material in a consistent and scalable way, and there are also concerns about its stability and reactivity when exposed to air or other elements.

Future Perspectives

One of the possible future applications of carbyne is the construction of spaceships and space elevators, which demand super-strong materials to form structures that could measure 65,000 kilometres and more. It could also make spacecraft bodies lighter and thus increase the power-to-weight ratio of these aerospace vehicles. By building a spaceship with carbyne, it could be possible to create a single-stage spacecraft that can reach orbit.

Image generated by Envisioning using Midjourney

Which photophysical properties does carbyne have? New research has led to a greater understanding of the properties of this unusual form of carbon.
Scientists in Vienna have successfully created a stable form of carbyne, the world’s strongest material. Carbyne is a linear acetylenic carbon – an infinitely long carbon chain. It can be considered as a one-dimensional allotrope of carbon. Carbyne has a chemical structure with alternating single and triple bonds: (−C≡C−)n. This structure of carbon gives an…
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Researchers at Rice University have determined that carbyne, a carbon allotrope, may be the strongest material ever, with twice the strength of graphene and carbon nanotubes and three times that of diamonds.
Also a carbon-based substance, carbyne is stronger than graphene and has the potential to take nanotechnology a qualitative leap forwards
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When this one-dimensional chain of carbon atoms is streched, it transitions from a conductor to an insulator
Anne Jones, an associate professor in the ASU School of Molecular Sciences, and her team of Peter Buseck, Scott Sayres, Tim Steimle and Tara Pilarisetty, recently received a $1 million award from the Keck Foundation together with additional ASU matching funds to lead an effort to further explore carbon’s potential.
Due to the unique combination of physicochemical and structural properties of carbyne-enriched nanocoatings, they can be used for the development of high-end electronic devices. We propose using it for the development of sensor platforms based on silicon bulk micromachined membranes that serve as a part of microcapacitors with flexible electrodes, with various sizes and topologies. The carbyne-enriched nanocoating was grown using the ion-assisted pulse-plasma deposition method in the form of 2D-ordered linear-chain carbon with interchain spacing in the range of approximately 4.8–5.03 Å. The main characteristics of the fabricated sensors, such as dynamic range, sensitivity, linearity, response, and recovery times, were measured as a function of the ethanol concentration and compared for the different sizes of the micromembranes and for the different surface states, such as patterned and non-patterned. The obtained results are the first step in the further optimization of these sensor platforms to reach more precise detection of volatile organic compounds for the needs of the healthcare, air monitoring, and other relevant fields of human health.
SWE Member Emily Chen has been working to investigate “Shape-persistent macrocycles as hosts for Iodocarbons: toward formation of Carbyne.”

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