About John V. Badding's Work
A unifying theme in my group’s research is the use of pressure to synthesize, deposit, or probe solid state materials. We have pioneered an approach to the the synthesis of crystalline carbon nanomaterials through non-topochemical solid state reaction of unsaturated small organic molecules. For example, carbon and carbon nitride nanothreads self-assemble into single crystals upon kinetically controlled compression of benzene and pyridine, respectively. These threads are sp3-bonded and one-dimensional and thus occupy a distinct position in a matrix of hybridization (sp2/sp3) and dimensionality (0D/1D/2D/3D) for carbon nanomaterials. Fully saturated “flexible diamond” nanothreads could exhibit a unique combination of unprecedented strength, flexibility, and resilience, while partially saturated threads with their stiff backbones may form a new class of organic conductors. The sp3 bonding of carbon nanothreads, combined with their synthesis through organic solid-state chemistry from benzene arguably makes them ‘hybrids’ that collectively function as both hydrocarbon molecules and nanomaterials.