Scientists have found a new way to structure carbon at the nanoscale, making a material that’s superior to diamond on the strength-to-density ratio.

While the tiny carbon lattice has been fabricated and tested in the lab, it’s a very long way off practical use. But this new approach could help us build stronger and lighter materials in the future – which is something that’s of great interest to industries such as aerospace and aviation.

What we’re talking about here is something known as a nanolattices – porous structures like the one in the image above that’s made up of three-dimensional carbon struts and braces. Due to their unique structure, they’re incredibly strong and lightweight.