Boron carbide: Structure, properties, and stability under stress

Vladislav Domnich, Sara Reynaud, Richard A. Haber, Manish Chhowalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

534 Citations (Scopus)


Boron carbide is characterized by a unique combination of properties that make it a material of choice for a wide range of engineering applications. Boron carbide is used in refractory applications due to its high melting point and thermal stability; it is used as abrasive powders and coatings due to its extreme abrasion resistance; it excels in ballistic performance due to its high hardness and low density; and it is commonly used in nuclear applications as neutron radiation absorbent. In addition, boron carbide is a high temperature semiconductor that can potentially be used for novel electronic applications. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the recent advances in understanding of structural and chemical variations in boron carbide and their influence on electronic, optical, vibrational, mechanical, and ballistic properties. Structural instability of boron carbide under high stresses associated with external loading and the nature of the resulting disordered phase are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3605-3628
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry

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