Monocrystalline whisker

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A monocrystalline whisker is a filament of material that is structured as a single, defect-free crystal. Typical whisker materials are graphite, alumina, iron, or silicon. Single-crystal whiskers of these (and some other) materials are known for having very high tensile strength (on the order of 10–20 GPa). Whiskers are used in some composites, but large-scale fabrication of defect-free whiskers is very difficult.

Prior to the discovery of carbon nanotubes, single-crystal whiskers had the highest tensile strength of any materials known, and were featured regularly in science fiction as materials for fabrication of space elevators, arcologies, and other large structures.

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References[edit]

  • "Mechanical and Physical Properties of Whiskers", CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 55th edition.