Scientists from NTU and Rice University Uncover Secret Behind One of the World’s Toughest Materials

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A team of scientists led by Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Rice University in the US, has uncovered the key to the outstanding toughness of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). h-BN can withstand ten times the amount of force that graphene can, which is known as one of the toughest materials on Earth. A two-dimensional (2D) material, h-BN has a thickness of just one atom. First used in cosmetics in the 1940s, it was soon abandoned due to its high price, making a resurgence in the late 1990s after technology made its production cheaper. Today, it is used by nearly all leading producers of cosmetic products because of its ability to absorb excess facial sebum and disperse pigment evenly, and as a protective layer in 2D electronics, as it insulates against electricity and withstands temperatures of up to 1000 °C.

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