Basic science

New research center for solid-state batteries is MUSIC to researchers’ ears

By Lisa McDonald / October 14, 2022

The newly announced Mechanochemical Understanding of Solid Ion Conductors (MUSIC) research center will see the University of Michigan and eight partner institutions explore the use of ceramic ion conductors as replacements for traditional liquid electrolytes. Learn where research on solid-state batteries currently stands.

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Nanostructured diamond capsules maintain high-pressure samples for materials analysis

By Lisa McDonald / September 23, 2022

Preserving high-pressure states of novel materials at ambient conditions is a long-sought-after goal for fundamental research and practical applications. A recent joint project by researchers in China and the United States showed that properties of high-pressure materials can be maintained in free-standing, nanostructured diamond capsules without the support of traditional bulky pressure vessels.

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Ensuring safe production of metal goods: A review of alumina spinel castables for steel ladles

By Lisa McDonald / September 9, 2022

Alumina spinel castables play an important role in the steel industry as lining for the ladle sidewalls and bottom. A new review paper published in International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology provides a detailed overview of these castables, including how various parameters affect their properties and performance.

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M7C3: Unveiling the structure of a misunderstood carbide

By Lisa McDonald / August 26, 2022

The use of data-driven methods to tailor the growth characteristics, stability, and mechanical properties of M7C3-type carbides is hindered by ambiguity surrounding the carbide’s structure. To overcome this uncertainty, researchers from the United States and Israel used a variety of imaging techniques to reveal the atomistic structure of M7C3 carbides.

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Model reveals how to attain dynamic control of ferroionic states in ferroelectric nanoparticles

By Lisa McDonald / August 19, 2022

There still is much to learn about how surface-charge dynamics influence the behavior of ferroelectric materials. In a recent open-access paper, researchers from the United States and Ukraine used finite element modeling to map these dynamics for ferroelectric nanoparticle dispersions.

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Clarifying the definition and role of nucleating agents within glass-ceramic systems

By Lisa McDonald / August 5, 2022

Much research has taken place on glass-ceramics since its discovery in the 1950s. However, the nucleation process within glass-ceramics still is not understood across all glass systems, nor is the specific role of nucleating agents. Researchers in the United States and Brazil aimed to help advance research in this area by clarifying some terms and effects for the glass-ceramics community.

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Baseball physics: ‘Seams’ like an increase in homeruns

By Eileen De Guire / July 29, 2022

When watching the Major League Baseball All-Star game last Tuesday, did you wonder what influenced the ball’s flight path after being hit? In a recent open-access paper, two professors from Washington State University and Delft University of Technology looked closer at the role of materials design in baseball aerodynamics.

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Cosmos creation—exploring formation of ceramic materials in space

By Lisa McDonald / July 22, 2022

The universe contains many complex chemistries and phenomena yet to be discovered or explained. Two recent studies offer a glimpse into how some ceramic materials may form in space.

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Harmonized testing procedure more accurately determines ionic conductivity of ceramic electrolytes

By Lisa McDonald / July 5, 2022

Deviations in the reported ionic conductivity of nominally identical ceramic electrolytes can be attributed in part to differences in the measurement and analysis methods used. Researchers in Germany developed a harmonized testing procedure that facilitates reliable assessment of errors that are due to inherent sample properties rather than analysis-related choices.

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One phase to rule them all—researchers use Monte Carlo simulations to determine most stable structure of boron nitride

By Lisa McDonald / April 29, 2022

Though hexagonal boron nitride is generally regarded as the most stable boron nitride structure, the relative phase stabilities of boron nitride polymorphs are still under debate. Researchers led by the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology used Monte Carlo simulations to calculate the relative phase stabilities of these polymorphs.

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