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Basic science

Tune shear-thickening fluid viscosity with acoustics

By Lisa McDonald / November 1, 2019

Dilatant fluids, commonly termed shear-thickening fluids, can complicate manufacturing by jamming pumping and mixing equipment. Cornell University researchers investigated softening dilatant fluids using ultrasonic waves to make them easier to handle.

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Controlling crack formation—grain shrinkage predicts macroscale cracks

By Lisa McDonald / October 25, 2019

Despite its ubiquity, the influence of grain shrinkage on cracking remains largely unexplored. Researchers from Princeton University investigated the phenomenon, and the results of their studies are described in two papers published this year.

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Achieving high-temperature superconductivity—the potential of superhydrides

By Lisa McDonald / October 22, 2019

Atomic structure plays an important role in understanding element properties. As the International Year of the Periodic Table nears its end, a new study looks at the potential superhydrides, specifically CeH9, hold as high-temperature superconductors.

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Nanoparticles and flash sintering—increasing ductility of glass and ceramics

By Lisa McDonald / October 15, 2019

Both glass and ceramics can be quite brittle. Two recent studies look at increasing the ductility of each—one through the consolidation of glassy nanoparticles, and the other through flash sintering.

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Varistors: Armor for your circuits

By Jonathon Foreman / October 15, 2019

As armor protects the wearer from weapons, varistors protect electrical circuits from high voltage and high currents. Learn about some of the current research being conducted to improve varistor production and performance, published in two ACerS journals.

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Good enough for a Nobel—lithium-ion batteries are the focus of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry

By Lisa McDonald / October 11, 2019

On October 9, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to three scientists for their work to develop lithium-ion batteries. John Goodenough, a luminary in the field of solid-state physics, is one of this year’s winners—learn more about his history and current research.

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Diamond is hard to beat: Experiment finds wBN indentation strength lower than diamond

By Lisa McDonald / September 27, 2019

In 2009, a theoretical simulation predicted wurtzite boron nitride had an indentation strength higher than diamond. Now, researchers in China and Saudi Arabia experimentally measured wBN’s hardness—and found it much closer to cubic boron nitride instead.

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Achieving full density—a look at factors hindering densification of bioglass scaffolds

By Jonathon Foreman / September 17, 2019

Most bioglasses, especially the popular 45S5, form weak scaffolds prone to cracking because they do not sinter to full density. Researchers looked to understand the factors hindering densification.

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Magnonics, an alternative to conventional electronics

By Lisa McDonald / September 3, 2019

Magnonics, an emerging field of magnetism, could provide an alternative method of data manipulation to silicon electronics. Researchers from universities in Russia, the Netherlands, and Germany developed a superconducting/ferromagnetic material for magnonic applications.

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Directly from glassy to crystal: Phase change material switches state without entering liquid phase

By Lisa McDonald / August 27, 2019

Phase change materials are an excellent way to store data—if you know how to effectively switch between the material’s glassy and crystal states. Researchers at the University of Arizona and RWTH Aachen University discovered unlike most glasses, the PCM Ge2Sb2Te5 can switch directly from glassy to crystal without entering the liquid phase.

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