Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




TECH SPACE
Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Jul 07, 2015


From left are: Professor Jim Williams, Professor Andrei Rode and Associate Professor Jodie Bradby with the complex electron diffraction patterns. Image courtesy Stuart Hay, ANU. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Scientists have made exotic new materials by creating laser-induced micro-explosions in silicon, the common computer chip material. The new technique could lead to the simple creation and manufacture of superconductors or high-efficiency solar cells and light sensors, said leader of the research, Professor Andrei Rode, from The Australian National University (ANU).

"We've created two entirely new crystal arrangements, or phases, in silicon and seen indications of potentially four more," said Professor Rode, a laser physicist at the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering (RSPE). "Theory predicts these materials could have very interesting electronic properties, such as an altered band gap, and possibly superconductivity if properly doped"

By focusing lasers onto silicon buried under a clear layer of silicon dioxide, the group have perfected a way to reliably blast tiny cavities in the solid silicon. This creates extremely high pressure around the explosion site and forms the new phases. The phases have complex structures, which took the team of physicists from ANU and University College London a year to understand.

Using a combination of electron diffraction patterns and structure predictions, the team discovered the new materials have crystal structures that repeat every 12, 16 or 32 atoms respectively, said Professor Jim Williams, from the Electronic Material Engineering group at RSPE.

"The micro-explosions change silicon's simplicity to much more complex structures, which opens up possibility for unusual and unexpected properties," he said.

These complex phases are often unstable, but the small size of the structures means the materials cool very quickly and solidify before they can decay, said Professor Eugene Gamaly, also from the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. The new crystal structures have survived for more than a year now.

"These new discoveries are not an accident, they are guided by a deep understanding of how lasers interact with matter," he said.

Conventional methods for creating materials with high pressure use tiny diamond anvils to poke or squeeze materials. However, the ultra-short laser micro-explosion creates pressures many times higher than the strength of diamond crystal can produce.

The team's new method promises a much cheaper and industrially-friendly method for large scale manufacturing of these exotic materials, says Dr Jodie Bradby, also from ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering.

"We reliably create thousands of micron-size modified zones in normal silicon within a second," she said.

"The semiconductor industry is a multi-billion dollar operation - even a small change in the position of a few silicon atoms has the potential to have a major impact."


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Australian National University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Study: South Africans used milk-based paint 49,000 years ago
Boulder, Colo. (UPI) Jul 1, 2015
Nearly 50,000 years ago, the people of South Africa used milk- and ochre-based paints to adorn themselves, as well as stones and wooden slabs. The use of paint dates back 250,000 years, but most ancient paints were derived from plants and minerals. The latest evidence is the earliest example of milk-based ochre pigment in southern Africa. Ochre paints have been discovered in both ancien ... read more


TECH SPACE
Russia to Land Space Vessel on Moon's Polar Region in 2019

Moon engulfed in permanent, lopsided dust cloud

Crashing comets may explain mysterious lunar swirls

Google Lunar X-Prize meets Yoda

TECH SPACE
Could This Become the First Mars Airplane

Curiosity rover back to work, studying rock-layer contact zone

Curiosity Mars Rover Studies Rock-Layer Contact Zone

Prandtl-m prototype could pave way for first plane on Mars

TECH SPACE
Docking Adapter Sets Stage for Commercial Crew Crew

Targeted LEDs could provide efficient lighting for plants grown in space

NASA Gears Up to Test Orion's Powerhouse

McCain Blows His Top Over US Inability to Abandon Russian Rocket Engines

TECH SPACE
Chinese earth station is for exclusively scientific and civilian purposes

Cooperation in satellite technology put Belgium, China to forefront

China set to bolster space, polar security

China's super "eye" to speed up space rendezvous

TECH SPACE
Relief as Russian cargo ship docks at space station

Loss of SpaceX Cargo Resupply Mission No Threat to ISS Crew Security

Russia launches Soyuz Progress with supplies for ISS

Russia Confirms Elimination of US On-Board Computer Failure at ISS

TECH SPACE
Licensed commercial spaceport to be built in Houston, Texas

More Fidelity for SpaceX In-Flight Abort Reduces Risk

Rocket Lab Announces World's First Commercial Launch Site

NovaWurks and Spaceflight Services set for payload test bed mission in 2017

TECH SPACE
Observing the birth of a planet

Precise ages of largest number of stars hosting planets ever measured

Can Planets Be Rejuvenated Around Dead Stars?

Spiral arms cradle baby terrestrial planets

TECH SPACE
Lower cost ultrasound degassing now possible in processing aluminum

Making new materials with micro-explosions: ANU media release

New technique enables magnetic patterns to be mapped in 3-D

Engineers give invisibility cloaks a slimmer design




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.