Carbon is a famously versatile element in the diversity of structures it can take, from graphite like in the tip of a pencil to a diamond. Both are just pure carbon, but with atoms arranged in different patterns.
The latest development in the nanoworld of carbon comes from a team that has designed something called carbon plate-nanolattices. Under a scanning electron microscope, they look like little cubes, and the math indicated that this structure would be incredibly strong, but it’s been too difficult to actually make, until now.
The team’s success was made possible by a 3D printing process called two-photon polymerization direct laser writing, which is essentially 3D printing on the level of atoms and photons.