World's Thinnest Glass Is As Thick As A Molecule, Discovered By Accident

 @CharlieAllDayc.poladian@ibtimes.com
on September 12 2013 1:31 PM

The Guinness World Record holder for thinnest glass is just two atoms wide and was discovered by accident. The silicon and oxygen molecules forming the glass were found as researchers were creating graphene.

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The world's thinnest glass was discovered by scientists from Cornell University in New York and the University of Ulm in Germany. David A. Muller discovered the pane of glass in his lab at Cornell. The glass was found as researchers were creating graphene, a crystalline form of carbon arranged in a honeycomb that's incredibly strong and has been dubbed a "miracle material." According to Muller, air may have corrupted the process, causing the copper and quartz tools to react, producing the world's thinnest glass.

While the discovery is exciting, the two-atom pane of glass could help answer fundamental questions about the structure of glass. A quick Google search of "glass liquid or solid" leads to millions of results with plenty of scholars weighing in on this question. Glass, despite being common, is not clearly understood and is considered an amorphous solid, straddling the line between liquid and solid. The internal structure, including the individual atoms of silicon and oxygen, can be viewed through an electron microscope, offering new clues about the arrangement of atoms within glass, notes Cornell. Muller said in a statement, "It's the first time that anyone has been able to see the arrangement of atoms in a glass."

Muller believes the glass could find a practical use in the future, perhaps as components of transistors found in computers and other gadgets. The discovery of the glass was first published in the journal Nano Letters in 2012 and was given the title of world's thinnest glass in the "Guinness World Records 2014 Edition."

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