Corundum-like materials, analogous to diamondoid but based on corundum (aluminum oxide, or Al2O3) in various forms. Often used in place of diamondoid in oxygen-bearing atmospheres because it has comparable hardness but is less chemically reactive. Corundumoid macro and mega structures are not vulnerable to burning or to accidental or malicious self-powered nano disassembly. In addition, small- and fine-grained structures such as nanomachines or utility fog built of corundumoid do not constitute a fuel-air mixture, as is the case with similar diamondoid constructs. Corundumoids are less desirable on some other counts, however. Aluminum is less available than carbon, the feed-stocks are typically solids that are more difficult to handle than carbon-based feedstocks, and fewer configurations are possible at the molecular level. Corundumoid is sometimes called sapphiroid.
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  • Sapphiroid - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An alternative term for corundumoid, suggestive of sapphire, which is a blue form of corundum. Early in history, and well into the Information Age, sapphires were a valuable and rare gem stone, and the name was considered more attractive because it implied value. Corundumoid was considered too suggestive of carborundum, an industrial material, and alternative names derived from other coloured forms of corundum, such as ruby, were less euphonious.
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Text by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 23 November 2005.