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The structure of sodium boride crystal, which scientists have long argued about, has been determined

An international group of scientists, together with Artem Oganov, professor at Skoltekh and MIPT, has established the crystal structure and chemical composition of sodium boride, the properties of which have long been the subject of controversy, the Skoltekh press service reported. The results of the study are published in the journal Physical Review B.
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The scientists managed to resolve a dispute about the composition of sodium boride (Na2B30 and Na2B29) with the help of the USPEX method — computer prediction of crystal structures — developed by the Skoltech professor. Sodium boride is a very solid substance that can be used to create drilling rigs.

Na2B30 was found to be stable and Na2B29 to be not stable during the experiments, the scientist noted. It has been shown that the addition of just one atom radically changes not only stability, but also electronic properties (it transforms the substance from a metal into a semiconductor), and dramatically increases the hardness of the material, the scientist said.

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