Boron's stable form.
A newly discovered solid form of boron has a remarkable structure: 20-sided cages (purple) made of boron atoms interspersed with smaller groups of two boron atoms (brown). (Likely electron locations are in green.) The cages and groups alternate in a 3-D lattice, much like the arrangement of large chloride ions and small sodium ions in table salt. It's the first stable form of boron to be experimentally confirmed, and the first ionic, saltlike solid scientists have found that's made from a single element. "Finding an ionic structure of an element is something stunning," says Artem Oganov of Stony Brook University in New York, coauthor of the study, which appeared online January 28 in Nature. Boron sometimes behaves like a metal and other times like an insulator. Because of this odd behavior, the natural, stable forms Boron assumes at various temperatures and pressures have been difficult to confirm.
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|Title Annotation:||Matter & Energy|
|Article Type:||Brief article|
|Date:||Feb 28, 2009|
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