Physical Chemistry Discovery

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Boron - crystalline structure for a pure element - Feb 5, 2009 at 12:07AM
Felix Lin
24 Posts

Physical chemistry got a big and exciting boost when the behavior of Boron at high pressures was finally
studied:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090128215130.htm

Boron is apparently hypersensitive to impurities, which has caused false reports of its behavior in the past.  However pure boron, under high pressure (100,000 - 900,000 atmospheres), apparently forms into B12 icosahedra and B2 dumbbells that together form a crystalline lattice of the sort previously only seen in ionic compounds.