Carbon is one of the most common.chemical elements on our planet. Moreover, carbon is the basis of our existence, because we, in fact, are carbon forms of life. Since the unique chemical structure of carbon allows it to easily bind to other atoms to form molecules and thereby participate in the most important biochemical processes. However, carbon has many uses beyond biology. For example, in electronics. And we are not talking about the well-known graphene. More recently, a group of researchers from the United States was able to create a completely new and not seen before form of carbon. And this is the first step towards creating an artificial brain.
What a new carbon form looks like
The new form, in fact, is not entirely new. This is a cyclocarbon molecule - this is a carbon compound consisting of 18 carbon atoms, which is able to form an ideal ring. Scientists knew about its existence before and even synthesized it in the laboratory. Only with it there were two problems: the first - the cyclocarbon molecule could exist only in the gaseous state, and the second - the molecule was unstable and disintegrated incredibly quickly. But, as the editors of Science magazine reported, a combined team of scientists from IBM Research and Oxford University was able to synthesize the solid and stable form of cyclocarbon for the first time.
How to create a new form of carbon
Initially, the team wanted to “assemble”Cyclocarbon atom after atom and spent several years developing this approach. Therefore, it was decided to go the other way. To begin, the researchers took a ring molecule consisting of 24 carbon atoms bonded to 6 oxygen atoms. This molecule was placed on a copper substrate, which was cooled to a temperature that was only a few degrees above absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius).
See also: Replacement of graphene found.
This effect forced the original moleculeemit carbon monoxide atoms (i.e. carbon and oxygen compounds). And since there were only 6 oxygen atoms, the molecule was able to “lose” 6 carbon atoms. As a result, 18 carbon atoms remained that formed the perfect ring.
Why do we need a new form of carbon?
Due to the high chemical activity obtainedCyclocarbon scientists still think what to do with it, but the team recognizes that it is only at the beginning of its path and applications to the new compound, in fact, there can be a great many.
At some point, we realized that we couldmanage such reactions and create even more complex molecular structures as you wish, ”says Katharina Kaiser, an employee of IBM Research, one of the authors of the work.
This means that although cyclocarbon itselfReactive, it can be a building block for more complex structures. Chemists could build new carbon chains at the molecular level. After all, atomically thin carbon already exists in such forms as the already mentioned graphene, which has incredible potential in the development of electronics. And with the new structure, the potential will become even greater. If you can think of where a new type of carbon would be useful, be sure to write about it in our chat in Telegram.
Of course, it’s too early to say anything, butTheoretically, electronic devices built on the basis of the cyclocarbon will be able to transfer electrons with a speed just unprecedented and inaccessible today, ”says IBM scientist Leo Gross.
It opens up huge potential forcreating extremely complex and fast neural networks and even to create an artificial brain. Most neural networks today are just models of physical neural networks based on a number of algorithms. We told you more about this in one of our past articles. But researchers believe that they could use cyclocarbon and its properties to simulate the work of neurons. And this is the beginning for the creation of artificial intelligence. Moreover, it is artificial intelligence in the usual sense. With consciousness and independence in decision making.