atomic structures

03/11/2013 - 10:08

For years, researchers have developed thin films of bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) – which converts heat into electricity or electricity to cooling – on top of gallium arsenide (GaAs) to create cooling devices for electronics. But while they knew it could be done, it was not clear how – because the atomic structures of those unlikely pair of materials do not appear to be compatible. Now researchers from North Carolina State University and RTI International have solved the mystery, opening the door to new research in the field.


05/11/2012 - 11:59

Drawing on powerful computational tools and a state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscope, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa State University materials science and engineering researchers has discovered a new nanometer-scale atomic structure in solid metallic materials known as metallic glasses.

12/19/2011 - 12:41

The problem exists on both a large and a small scale, and it even bothered the ancient Egyptians. However, although physicists have long had a good understanding of friction in things like stone blocks being pulled by workers into the shape of a pyramid, they have only now been able to explain friction in microscopic dimensions in any degree of detail. Researchers from the University of Stuttgart and the Stuttgart-based Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems arranged an elaborate experiment in which they pulled a layer of regularly ordered plastic spheres over an artificial crystal made of light.