Applying high pressure to metal (primarily Rare-Earth Elements) borides will uncover chemical reactions not possible at ambient conditions and open the boundaries of the metal-boron system doped with carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen with other element of similar radii, and illuminate reaction mechanisms and behavior, leading to the creation of materials with the desired chemistry and properties.
Light elements such as boron, nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen are in the forefront of modern research, because many long-standing, fundamental questions related to their chemistry, crystal chemistry, bonding, polymorphism, and physical properties of their compounds remain to be resolved. Currently boron compounds are widely used as superhard materials, superconductors, dielectrics, B-doped semiconductors, and reinforcing chemical additives. Composites on the base of boron are characterized by extreme strength and low density, making them useful as filaments for advanced aerospace structures and in personal security (bullet-proof vests). As nitrogen has strong covalent bonding with boron, part of the project will be dedicated to the synthesis of ternary compounds with nitrogen.
The synthesis and investigation of metal borides under extreme conditions are of great interest for material science and technology, given the interesting properties of these compounds, namely superconductivity, low compressibility and high hardness, high melting points, good thermal, and chemical stability.
Main focus is on compounds that can be synthesized at low pressure and temperature aiming to achieve mass production of the material using thermodynamic conditions that can be reproduced (scaled up) by large volume presses.