Journal article Open Access

D-carbon: Ab initio study of a novel carbon allotrope

Dong Fan; Lu Shaohua; Golov Andrey; Kabanov Artem; Hu Xiaojun

By means of ab initio computations and the global minimum structure search method, we have investigated structural, mechanical, and electronic properties of D-carbon, a crystalline orthorhombic sp3 carbon allotrope (space group Pmma [D2h5D2h5] with 6 atoms per cell). Total-energy calculations demonstrate that D-carbon is energetically more favorable than the previously proposed T6 structure (with 6 atoms per cell) as well as many others. This novel phase is dynamically, mechanically, and thermally stable at zero pressure and more stable than graphite beyond 63.7 GPa. D-carbon is a semiconductor with a bandgap of 4.33 eV, less than diamond’s gap (5.47 eV). The simulated X-ray diffraction pattern is in satisfactory agreement with previous experimental data in chimney or detonation soot, suggesting its possible presence in the specimen.

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