Kolan Madhav Reddy*, Simanta Lahkar, Akihiko Hirata, Mingwei Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Boron carbide is composed of only boron and carbon, two light solid elements. Due to the weak scattering power detection of light elements by using microscopes, the atomic structure of boron carbide, the third hardest naturally occurring material is unresolved and hotly debated. In this chapter we show the atomic structure of boron carbide by using stateof-the-art spherical abberation corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy combined with a newly developed annular bright field imaging mode. From the experiments, we found three different crosslinked linear chain structures i.e., C-B-C, C-V-C and C-C-C polytypes. The measurements from atomic images revealed presence of about 80-85% C-B-C cross-linked linear chains suggesting that this polytype unit is thermodynamically favorable in boron carbide ground state binary phase. The deviation from ideal C-B-C cross-linked linear chain structure may have been related to high temperature solid solubility.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBoron Carbide
Subtitle of host publicationStructure, Processing, Properties and Applications
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781536171228
ISBN (Print)9781536171211
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • annular bright field
  • boron carbide
  • polytypes
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy
  • structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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