Basic science

From disorder to lasers: High-entropy transparent ceramics hold high potential for optics, photonics applications

By Lisa McDonald / December 17, 2019

High-entropy materials present significant potential for numerous applications due to their unique chemistries, but such materials’ optical properties have not been studied fundamentally yet. Two researchers at Alfred University begin to fill this knowledge gap by investigating a transparent high‐entropy fluoride laser ceramic.

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Bioglass vs brawn: Developing sturdier bioglass capsules for RFID tracking devices

By Jonathon Foreman / November 26, 2019

Bioglass brittleness limits the implantation of bioglass encapsulated RFID tracking devices in animals that butt heads for dominance. Florida A&M University researchers used force distribution models to develop a sturdier bioglass capsule design.

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Graphene: Softer through bending

By Lisa McDonald / November 19, 2019

Different research groups have measured different values for bending stiffness in graphene that span across orders of magnitude. Researchers led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign now say the different values stem from the fact that graphene becomes softer the more you bend it.

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From division to directorate—panel suggests elevating materials research status within NSF

By Lisa McDonald / November 12, 2019

The National Academies recently released a materials research decadal survey claiming large investments by countries in Europe and East Asia jeopardize U.S. leadership in materials science. Could elevating materials research from a division to directorate within NSF help focus national attention and increase funding?

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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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