Materials & Innovations

Doing double duty—researchers develop metalenses that offer both spatial and spectral control of light

By Lisa McDonald / March 3, 2023

Traditionally, metalenses offer either spatial or spectral control of light, not both. However, a new metalens developed by researchers from Columbia University and the City University of New York offers both functionalities.

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Small scale, big discoveries: Reducing thickness of antiferroelectric films turns them ferroelectric

By Lisa McDonald / February 14, 2023

While size effects in ferroelectric materials have been extensively studied, there are far fewer studies on how structure and properties evolve in antiferroelectric materials with reduced dimensions. In a recent open-access paper, researchers report the surprising discovery that below a certain thickness, antiferroelectric films will become completely ferroelectric.

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Introduction to “Ceramic matrix composites” for ACT @ 20

By Jonathon Foreman / February 8, 2023

To celebrate the milestone of the 20th volume of the International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology, the editorial team assembled a selection of journal papers representing the excellent work from the advanced ceramics community. The focus this month is ceramic matrix composites.

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Beyond oxides: Successful plastic deformation in silicon nitride thanks to dual-phase structure

By Lisa McDonald / January 24, 2023

Most explorations of plastic deformation in ceramics have focused on oxide systems. A recent study led by researchers at Tsinghua University in China demonstrated the possibility of plastic deformation in nonoxide ceramics as well, specifically silicon nitride, by harnessing a dual-phase structural configuration.

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How sweet it is: Accidental discovery leads to microprinting method for highly curved, complex surfaces

By Lisa McDonald / January 13, 2023

Through an accidental discovery, NIST researcher Gary Zabow discovered a new microprinting method based on sugar and corn syrup that allows microscale arrays to be deposited with precision on highly curved, complex surfaces.

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Batteries of tomorrow, plus more inside January/February 2023 ACerS Bulletin

By Lisa McDonald / December 21, 2022

The January/February 2023 issue of the ACerS Bulletin—featuring a look at some future battery technologies—is now available online. Plus—optical-grade ceramics and IYOG conclusion.

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Extensive modeling leads to new shape-memory zirconia with properties on par with shape-memory alloys

By Lisa McDonald / December 20, 2022

Even when a shape-memory ceramic’s lattice compatibility is improved, it still often experiences cracking after just a few dozen transformation cycles. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology improved the cyclability of shape-memory zirconia ceramics with the help of a multimode modeling approach.

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Good things come in even smaller packages: ZrO2 thin films on silicon show ferroelectricity down to 5 angstroms

By Lisa McDonald / December 9, 2022

Ferroelectric materials are expected to revolutionize the next generation of ultralow-power microelectronics. In a recent study, researchers led by the University of California, Berkeley achieved atomic-scale ferroelectricity in fluorite-structured zirconium dioxide thin films on silicon.

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Quantum computing guides development of transparent window coating to reduce energy costs

By Lisa McDonald / December 6, 2022

Passive radiative cooling systems typically are implemented by applying special coatings to the walls or roof of a building. But windows play a significant role in heat transfer too. University of Notre Dame researchers used a quantum computing-assisted active learning scheme to develop a new high-performance transparent radiative cooling coating for windows.

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A ‘brake’ from tradition: Glass fibers improve friction performance and wear rates of train brake shoes

By Lisa McDonald / December 2, 2022

Cast iron blocks and steel fibers are the dominant materials used for brake shoes in the railway industry. Researchers from a Spain-based friction materials manufacturer found that the addition of glass fibers could improve the shoes’ friction performance and wear rates.

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