. 24/7 Space News .
Heat-proof chaotic carbides could revolutionize aerospace technology
by Staff Writers
Durham NC (SPX) Oct 13, 2022

stock illustration only

A group of scientists led by Duke University have engineered a new class of materials capable of producing tunable plasmonic properties while withstanding incredibly high temperatures.

Plasmonics is a technology that essentially traps the energy of light within groups of electrons oscillating together on a metallic surface. This creates a powerful electromagnetic field that interacts with incoming light, allowing devices to absorb, emit or otherwise control specific frequencies across much of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The new materials are hard enough to stir molten steel and can withstand temperatures above 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit - about the same temperatures found just a few hundred miles above the surface of the sun. Coupled with their newly discovered plasmonic abilities, the carbides could achieve improved communications and thermal regulation in technologies including satellites and hypersonic aircraft.

The research appears online October 11 in the open access journal Nature Communications.

"The standard metals used in plasmonics research, such as gold, silver and copper, melt at relatively low temperatures and need protection from the elements," said Arrigo Calzolari, a researcher at the Istituto Nanoscienze of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche in Modena, Italy "That means they can't be used in rockets, satellites or other aerospace applications. But these new materials we are developing open a completely new working arena because they can create plasmonic effects at incredibly high temperatures."

The abilities come from a class of disordered ceramics discovered in 2018 by Stefano Curtarolo, professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Duke, called "high-entropy" carbides. Jettisoning the reliance on the crystalline structures and bonds that keep traditional materials together, these high-entropy carbides rely on a combination of many disorderly elements of various sizes to enhance stability. While a pile of baseballs won't stand on its own, a pile of baseballs, shoes, bats, hats and gloves just might support a resting baseball player.

The original group of high-entropy materials were made of carbon and five different metallic elements, technically making them a class of carbides. Since then, Curtarolo has secured a $7.5 million grant through the US Department of Defense's Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) competition to develop a suite of AI-materials tools capable of designing similar materials with tailored properties on demand.

Calzolari knew about these materials and the project Curtarolo was leading. He also knew that tantalum carbide (a parent yet simpler system) is extremely durable and exhibits plasmonic abilities in the visible spectrum. But the material can't be tuned to different frequencies of light outside of its natural range, limiting its usefulness in real-world applications. Putting two and two together, Calzolari and Curtarolo joined forces on a hunch that certain recipes for high-entropy carbides - especially those containing tantalum - could demonstrate tunable plasmonic properties across a wide spectrum.

Less than six months later, they were proven right.

"Arrigo came to me to make sure these carbide mixtures would work and that they would have plasmonic properties," Curtarolo said. "After running the recipe ideas through the disorder models and calculations we've been developing, we discovered that they do have plasmonic properties, and that we can tune them by tweaking the recipes."

In the paper, the researchers' models show that 14 different high-entropy recipes demonstrate plasmonic properties across the near-infrared and visible spectrum of light, making them good candidates for optical and telecommunication applications. They also worked with Douglas Wolfe, professor of materials science and engineering and the metals, ceramics, coating processing department head for the applied research laboratory at Penn State, to prove their theory experimentally.

As a member of the MURI project led by Curtarolo, Wolfe was already familiar with high-entropy carbides. He happened to have a sample of one of the recipes in question, which helped the group to quickly demonstrate the plasmonic properties of HfTa4C5 and showed that they matched well with their computational models.

The paper lays out different compositions that work better or worse than each other in various frequency ranges. The researchers plan to continue to create new recipes and test them for potential use in a wide range of applications, such as antennas, light and heat manipulation, and many more on any device that is subjected to ultra-high temperatures.

"These materials bring together plasmonics, hardness, stability and high temperatures into a single material," Curtarolo said. "And they can be tailored to specific applications, which isn't possible using standard materials because you can't change properties defined by nature."

Research Report:Plasmonic High-entropy Carbides

Related Links
Duke University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
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 Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Engineers develop a new kind of shape-memory material
Boston MA (SPX) Oct 06, 2022
Shape-memory metals, which can revert from one shape to a different one simply by being warmed or otherwise triggered, have been useful in a variety of applications, as actuators that can control the movement of various devices. Now, the discovery of a new category of shape-memory materials made of ceramic rather than of metal could open up a new range of applications, especially for high-temperature settings, such as actuators inside a jet engine or a deep borehole. The new findings were reported ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

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

NASA Crew-4 astronauts safely splash down in Atlantic

World's first space tourist plans new flight to Moon with SpaceX

Eagle-designed space drones target in-orbit construction

Cables, tie-wraps and no step

Orbex secures 40M pounds in Series C Funding round

NASA's Crew-5 mission casts long exposure light beam

Musk says cannot fund Starlink in Ukraine indefinitely

Electron Rocket arrives at Wallops for inaugural Rocket Lab mission from Virginia

Things that go bump in the night on Mars!

Sols 3621-3622: Planetary Power Puzzle

NASA's InSight waits out dust storm

Sols 3614-3615: Chemin's Moment To Shine

Mengtian space lab fueled ahead of upcoming launch

Tiangong space station marks key step in assembly

China begins search for fourth astronaut generation

China launches multiple satellites in back to back launches

Phase Four unveils game changing engine for LEO constellations

Russia launches new Angolan satellite into orbit

Eutelsat strategy update on the proposed combination with OneWeb

New Iridium Certus Service Providers to Support U.S. Government Customers

DLR's new optical ground station inaugurated

NASA awards contracts to assess near-space communications capabilities

Heat-proof chaotic carbides could revolutionize aerospace technology

Europe's police keep wary eye on threat from 3D-printed guns

Broccoli gas: A better way to find life in space

Blue Skies Space satellite will monitor how energy released by stars impacts exoplanet habitability

Heaviest element yet detected in an exoplanet atmosphere

JPL developing more tools to help search for life in deep space

Mars and Jupiter moons meet

NASA study suggests shallow lakes in Europa's icy crust could erupt

NASA studies origins of dwarf planet Haumea

Sharpest Earth-based images of Europa and Ganymede reveal their icy landscape

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - 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. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. 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. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.