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Characterization

Porous silica nanoparticles offer potential solution to combat counterfeiting

By April Gocha / October 29, 2019

In today’s world of global commerce, product identity is a significant issue with considerable economic repercussions. TruTag Technologies is developing porous silica nanoparticles that use unique spectral signatures to authenticate goods.

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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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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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Two theories, one goal—new formula also describes heat flow in both crystals and glass

By Lisa McDonald / August 30, 2019

In May, a formula was published that could describe thermal transport in both crystals and glass. Now, a new formula by researchers in Italy and the United States based on a different mathematical framework can also model such thermal transport.

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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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Cheers to sustainability—lifecycle analysis pits glass bottles against aluminum cans

By April Gocha / August 23, 2019

From an environmental sustainability standpoint, which is better: glass bottles or aluminum cans? Turns out, the answer is not so clear-cut.

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Set sail on the road to discovery: Chemical map charts course to hundreds of new nitrides

By Lisa McDonald / June 28, 2019

Exploratory synthesis of nitride materials can be a time-consuming and risky venture. A new map of ternary metal nitrides gives scientists a good idea of where to look for new nitrides.

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Two materials, one theory—unified thermal transport formula describes heat flow in both crystals and glass

By Lisa McDonald / June 14, 2019

Previously, two separate theories described heat transport in ordered and disordered materials. A new general theory by Swiss and Italian researchers describes thermal transport in both, as well as everything in between.

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