International Collaboration at FIU Leads to Discovery of New Single-Element Compound

The following news release about the discovery of a single-element compound was issued today by Florida International University. After creating the compound, boron boride, under extremely high pressure, the scientists brought samples to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory for analysis. At Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source, powerful beams of x-rays and infrared light revealed the atomic and electronic structure of the compound. For more information about Brookhaven’s role in this research, contact Kendra Snyder at 631-344-8191 or

MIAMI – Florida International University researchers have discovered a new single-element compound, a breakthrough that could rewrite chemistry books.

The Center for the Study of Matters at Extreme Condition (CeSMEC) at FIU led an international group of scientists that synthesized and characterized a single-element compound, Boron Boride (B28).

The classic definition of a chemical compound is a substance consisting of two or more different elements chemically bonded together in a fixed proportion by mass. The new compound differs from that definition in that it is made up of just one element, formed by pure boron under high pressure and temperature (above 120,000 atmospheres and 1,400 degrees Celsius).

Jiuhua Chen, a professor with the Mechanical and Materials Science Department of FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing and associate director of CeSMEC, initiated the research project and the international effort that resulted in the discovery.

“This has brought us a new understanding of elements,” Chen said. “Without the collaboration of scientists, especially between experimentalists and theoreticians, this discovery would not be possible.”

The team’s research is detailed in the latest issue of Nature. Read the full article.

The research at FIU is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.

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