What does it look like?
What is it?
When you want a super hard material, diamond fits the bill pretty well every time. Not only is it super strong, but the benefit of being see-though means that if you’re using a big gem you can see what you are compressing. However, diamonds are pretty expensive – so cheaper forms of super hard materials have been sought for quite a while.
One of these is cubic boron nitride, made up of boron and nitrogen mixtures in a one to one mixture. If the structure is familiar, that’s because this takes up the sphalerite or zinc blende structure. It is nearly as hard as diamond, and actually a bit more chemically stable.
Where did the structure come from?
Cubic boron nitride is #9008864 in the Crystallography Open Database.